Short-handed RMU edges Bryant to stay perfect in conference
College Football Videos
Robert Morris opened a two-game lead in the Northeast Conference by holding off second-place Bryant, 79-76, Thursday in a jammed Sewall Center. The Colonials (12-10, 7-0 NEC) have won seven consecutive games.
Since Robert Morris learned about the suspension of four players a week ago, the team chemistry seems to have improved. Instead of slumping, the Colonials have stepped up their game.
“Our guys did an excellent job hanging on to the win,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said. “We got great contributions from everyone on the court. They made plays at crucial times. It was another great team effort.”
David Appolon played one of his best games in an RMU uniform. He finished with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Stephan Hawkins had six rebounds and Aaron Tate five rebounds.
All eight players scored for the Colonials.
Toole said he feels the players are more comfortable now with their roles.
“When they go on the floor they can play their game and not impress anybody,” Toole said. “They just have to go out and be me. I like how they guys have rallied together, our leadership has grabbed everybody and closed ranks a little bit. It's made the team more enjoyable to work with the past couple weeks.”
Robert Morris continued its solid play despite a short bench. The Colonials raced out to a 7-0 lead and never trailed in this national televised game.
They built a double-digit lead as Karvel Anderson and Anthony Myers-Pate combined for 29 points in the opening half. Robert Morris grabbed a 42-34 lead at halftime.
Anderson finished with 24 points, including two clutch free throws with 12.6 seconds left, and Myers-Pate had 21. He hit two big free throws with 31.4 seconds left when Bryant (13-9, 5-2) was making a comeback. Myers-Pate his best game of the season with symptoms of the flu, and he did it in front of his mentor — former Colonial Velton Jones who was in the stands.
“I'm not surprised at all how Anthony played,” Anderson said. “It's the type of player he is. He's worked harder than anyone on this team.
“He had one of those nights. He was telling us all day he wanted us to go 7-0.”
The Colonials' largest lead of the first half was 12 points on four occasions, the last being 42-30 on a 3-pointer by Myers-Pate, who was 6 for 6 from the floor in the first half.
Robert Morris opened up a couple of 14-point leads in the second half, but Bryant kept battling behind the inside play of Alex Francis and the outside shooting of Corey Maynard and Dyami Starks.
A three-point play by Maynard cut the Robert Morris lead to 75-74 with 45.2 seconds left.
Myers-Pate converted a one-and-one to put the Colonials up 77-74 with 31.4 seconds left, but Francis' putback made it 77-76 with 14.4 seconds to play.
After a pair of Anderson free throws, Maynard's 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
Toole said the plan was to foul Bryant before it took the 3-pointer.
“We really haven't practiced that much yet,” Toole said. “They pushed the ball up fast, but Karvel did a great job tipping a ball out of bounce with 4.4 seconds left.
“We were hoping they'd pass it away from the hoop, but they went to the corner and Karvel was smart and didn't foul. They still got a good look. I thought it was in. It worked out well for us.”
Francis finished with a game-high 30 points, 20 in the second half. He had 10 rebounds. Maynard had 19 points and Starks 10.
Robert Morris won the first meeting 71-67 in Smithfield, R.I., on Jan. 11. Anderson scored 32 points in the contest, including the eventual game-winner with 38 seconds left.
The short-handed Colonials received a scare late in the first half when junior forward Lucky Jones fell hard to the floor attempting to block a shot. Jones lay on the floor while teammate Stephan Hawkins was making a fast-break dunk at the other end.
Jones returned in the second half.
Jones finished with five points on 1-for-12 shooting and needs seven points to reach 1,000 for his career.
Robert Morris was 16 for 17 from the foul line and outrebounded Bryant, 36-28.
Toole said he's had a couple of students come in to give them more bodies at practice. But he hasn't added them to the roster. He also doesn't seem in a hurry to reinstate Mike McFadden and Desjuan Newton, who left the team.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers to bring LB Harrison out of retirement
- Pitt’s potent rushing attack could slow down the passing game
- Steelers defense must replace three injured starters after victory
- Pittsburgh Fashion Week 2014 opens to sold-out crowd on South Side
- Penguins boast several good blueliners with point-producing skills
- Existing home sales fall in August, snapping streak of gains
- Business roundup: 10M units of latest iPhone sold in 1st weekend; GM ignition switch death count rises to 21; more
- Liriano, McCutchen help Pirates to 1-0 win over Braves
- Winston: Lessons obviously not learned
- South Park boys soccer thriving by easing burden on its stars
- Pirates notebook: Volquez open to re-signing with team