Robert Morris' 4-game winning streak ends with 71-68 loss to Bryant
The Robert Morris men's basketball team lost to Bryant, 71-68, on Saturday at Sewall Center.
The loss snapped the Colonials' four-game winning streak.
RMU (11-11, 7-3) dropped into a tie for second place with Bryant (10-10, 7-3) in the NEC, one game behind St. Francis Brooklyn.
Poor shooting and a lack of energy, especially in the first half, led to the Colonials' downfall despite their second-half comeback. Their sluggish play allowed Bryant to control the tempo.
“It was a disappointing loss, but sometimes you get what you deserve,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said. “We lacked energy Friday at practice, and we lacked it at the shootaround this morning.
“It's a lack of maturity. When you win four games in a row, you can't just show up and expect to win. You have to have the right mental approach day in and day out.”
Robert Morris trailed 50-40 midway through the final quarter before rallying in the second half, getting to within 69-68 with 10.5 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Lucky Jones. But two free throws by Bryant's Joe O'Shea with 6.5 seconds left clinched the win.
Jones missed a 3-pointer with three seconds left and injured himself when he dived into the stands chasing a loose ball, hitting his head on the bleachers.
Jones finished with 19 points. Marcquise Reed scored 20 to lead the Colonials.
Part of the Colonials' problems on offense was their lack of movement against Bryant's matchup zone.
“We stood around too much and didn't attack well enough,” Toole said. “When we went on our run in the second half, we attacked it and got good shots.”
Rodney Pryor struggled the most for Robert Morris. After going 7 for 10 from the field and scoring a career-high 28 points Thursday, Pryor was 2 for 14 and scored seven points.
Robert Morris couldn't penetrate the zone and settled for some contested jumpers from the perimeter.
“We like to play man-to-man, but when we got called on a quick fouls we decided to play zone,” Bryant coach Tim O'Shea said. “We played it well against Connecticut early in the season.”
The Colonials were 7 for 24 from the field (29.2 percent) in the first half and finished the game 23 for 60 (38.3 percent).
The Bulldogs, who controlled the tempo, were 12 for 26 from the floor.
Bryant's Dan Garvin was 4 for 4 from the field in the first half and finished with a team-high 21 points.
“We didn't defend him properly,” Robert Morris junior forward Aaron Tate said. “We let him have too many free lanes. We didn't come out the way we should have, and we found ourselves playing from behind all game.”
Dyami Starks added 18 points, 13 in the second half, for Bryant.
Starks was the opposite of Pryor: He was 2 for 18 on Thursday at St. Francis (Pa.) but finished 7 for 16 against the Colonials.
Jones wasn't the only Colonials player to get injured.
Dave Appolon hurt his shoulder late in the game.
“This was a tough loss because it's hard to lose conference home games,” Toole said. “It was a deserving loss.”