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St. Francis (Pa.) men end 14-game losing streak against Robert Morris

Paul Schofield
| Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, 10:18 p.m.
Robert Morris guard Lucky Jones (22) looks to block a shot by St. Francis (Pa.) forward Ronnie Drinnon (40) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Lucky Jones (22) looks to block a shot by St. Francis (Pa.) forward Ronnie Drinnon (40) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris coach Andrew Toole talks with forward Aaron Tate (24) on the bench Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris coach Andrew Toole talks with forward Aaron Tate (24) on the bench Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) collides with St. Francis (Pa.) guard Stephon Whyatt (0) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) collides with St. Francis (Pa.) guard Stephon Whyatt (0) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) collides with St. Francis (Pa.) guard Malik Harmon (1) while driving to the basket Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) collides with St. Francis (Pa.) guard Malik Harmon (1) while driving to the basket Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris guard Marcquise Reed (2) shoots over St. Francis (Pa.) guard Greg Brown (12) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Marcquise Reed (2) shoots over St. Francis (Pa.) guard Greg Brown (12) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
St. Francis (Pa.) guard Ben Millaud-Meunier (11) protects a steal attempt by Robert Morris guard Marcquise Reed (2) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
St. Francis (Pa.) guard Ben Millaud-Meunier (11) protects a steal attempt by Robert Morris guard Marcquise Reed (2) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris guard Rodney Pryor (11) reacts after being called for a foul on St. Francis (Pa.) guard Ben Millaud-Meunier (11) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Rodney Pryor (11) reacts after being called for a foul on St. Francis (Pa.) guard Ben Millaud-Meunier (11) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris guard Rodney Pryor (11) drives to the basket as St. Francis (Pa.) guard Stephon Whyatt (0) defends Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Rodney Pryor (11) drives to the basket as St. Francis (Pa.) guard Stephon Whyatt (0) defends Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris forward Stephan Bennett (45) drives to the basket past St. Francis (Pa.) guard Malik Harmon (1) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris forward Stephan Bennett (45) drives to the basket past St. Francis (Pa.) guard Malik Harmon (1) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) is fouled by St. Francis (Pa.) guard Ben Millaud-Meunier (11) as Stephon Whyatt (0) looks on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) is fouled by St. Francis (Pa.) guard Ben Millaud-Meunier (11) as Stephon Whyatt (0) looks on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) dives for loose ball in front of St. Francis (Pa.) guard Dominique Major (14) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) dives for loose ball in front of St. Francis (Pa.) guard Dominique Major (14) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris forward Stephan Bennett (45) shoots over St. Francis (Pa.) forward Ronnie Drinnon (40) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris forward Stephan Bennett (45) shoots over St. Francis (Pa.) forward Ronnie Drinnon (40) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris coach Andrew Toole talks with his team during a timeout against St. Francis (Pa.) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris coach Andrew Toole talks with his team during a timeout against St. Francis (Pa.) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
St. Francis (Pa.) guard Ben Millaud-Meunier (11) pulls down a rebound against Robert Morris guard Rodney Pryor (11) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
St. Francis (Pa.) guard Ben Millaud-Meunier (11) pulls down a rebound against Robert Morris guard Rodney Pryor (11) on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Robert Morris guard Lucky Jones (22) and forward Stephan Bennett (45) defend the basket as St. Francis (Pa.) forward Ronnie Drinnon (40) looks to score Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Robert Morris guard Lucky Jones (22) and forward Stephan Bennett (45) defend the basket as St. Francis (Pa.) forward Ronnie Drinnon (40) looks to score Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Loretto.

LORETTO — St. Francis (Pa.) hadn't beaten Robert Morris since Dec. 8, 2007, and it hadn't defeated the Colonials at home since Feb. 17, 2004.

The Red Flash ended a 14-game losing streak in the series Monday at DeGol Arena, holding on to defeat Robert Morris, 66-59.

St. Francis (8-5, 2-0 NEC) got clutch plays from its veterans, a bucket from Earl Brown and two free throws from Ronnie Drinnon in the final minute to seal the win.

This was a statement game for the St. Francis program because of the losing streak.

“We challenged the group to make a statement anytime you put on a Red Flash uniform,” St. Francis coach Rob Krimmel said. “We and the university consider Robert Morris a rival. But to become a rivalry, you need to win some games. It was a great way to start the conference.”

Robert Morris (5-9, 1-1 NEC) never led and forced only three ties, the last being 49-49 with 9:13 left on a 3-pointer by Kavon Stewart.

Whenever the Colonials had a chance to take a lead, they either missed a shot or turned over the ball. The Colonials also struggled to make shots late in the game, going 2 for 10 during the final eight minutes.

“Turnovers (13) hurt us, and the 21 points off them hurt us,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said. “We tried not to give them some easy stuff. I thought we got a couple good looks after Kavon's missed free throw, and we had a couple shots at it. It seemed to be there and they just didn't go down.”

Said Brown: “When we lost to them in the conference quarterfinals last year, nobody forgot that feeling. It hurt and we didn't want to feel it again.”

Drinnon scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, and Ben Millaud-Meunier came off the bench to score 14. Brown also had 14 points, and Ollie Jackson finished with 10, all in the first half.

“It was a big challenge for us,” Drinnon said. “We knew Robert Morris would play hard because it has been at the top of the conference for years. We took the challenge.”

Freshman Marcquise Reed finished with 22 points to pace Robert Morris. Stephan Bennett had 10 points.

Rodney Pryor scored only two points in the first half and finished with eight. He was 4 for 14 from the field and 0 for 6 from beyond the 3-point line. Lucky Jones was held scoreless in the first half and finished with four points and 12 rebounds.

For the first 10 minutes, it looked as though St. Francis was going to send Robert Morris back to Moon Township with an embarrassing loss. Jackson hit three consecutive 3-pointers, and St. Francis raced to a 28-10 lead.

But Robert Morris kept playing hard, and St. Francis went cold. The Colonials used a 12-0 run to outscore the Red Flash, 16-5, to trim the lead to 31-26 by halftime.

St. Francis failed to score during a 6:34 span and was 1 for 10 from the field after beginning 11 for 17.

“St. Francis had a great start, and we didn't play well enough to start the game,” Toole said. “We didn't have the energy to start the game that we needed.

“I was pleased with the way we fought back in the game and gave an opportunity. And down the stretch, St. Francis made the plays. They deserved to win the game, and it was a great learning experience for us.”

Both teams go on the road next. Robert Morris is at Wagner on Thursday, and St. Francis goes to Bryant.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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