Robert Morris routs Duquesne, 91-69
Duquesne first-year basketball coach Jim Ferry has seen Velton Jones' act when Ferry coached Long Island. That team did a better job defending him.
But the Robert Morris senior guard couldn't be stopped in the second half Saturday night. He ignited a 10-0 run to open the second half, and the Colonials rolled to a 91-69 rout of city rival Duquesne at Sewall Center.
It's the first time that Robert Morris (7-4) has won three consecutive games in the series. Duquesne (6-5), which had won five of its past six games, leads the overall series, 15-8.
The Colonials, who trailed most of the first half, grabbed a 31-30 halftime lead despite starting the game with a cool shooting touch.
But the Colonials, behind Jones, blitzed Duquesne in the first five minutes of second half. They outscored the visitors, 26-8, to open up a 57-38 lead. Robert Morris outscored Duquesne, 60-39, in the second half.
Jones finished with a game-high 22 points, including 17 in the second half. He also handed out six assists, all in the second half.
Robert Morris made its first eight shots after intermission, including 5 for 5 from beyond the 3-point line.
“It came down to turnovers,” Ferry said. “We talked about it, and the key for us is not turning the ball over. I felt we played hard for the first 10 minutes, and Robert Morris absolutely dominated the final 30. “They started the second half with a sense of urgency. I've been coaching a long while, and I haven't seen a second-half shooting performance like that.”
Duquesne turned the ball over 25 times; Robert Morris scored 31 points off those mistakes. The Colonials shot 65.6 percent from the floor in the second half.
“It was an incredible second-half effort by us,” said Robert Morris coach Andrew Toole, who is 3-0 against Duquesne. “At halftime we talked about not relaxing in the second half and getting back on defense. We scored as many points in the second half as we do for an entire game.”
Coron Williams had 16 points, Mike McFadden 12 points and Lucky Jones 10 for the Colonials.
Freshman guard Derrick Colter led Duquesne with 16 points, while Sean Johnson had 12 and Jerry Jones 11. Andre Marhold added nine points and 11 rebounds.
Ferry said Colter missed Friday's practice and Saturday's shoot-around to attend the funeral of his older brother. Another freshman, Quevyn Winters, also arrived late for the game after attending his grandmother's funeral in Milwaukee.
“They wanted to play, and I was not going to stop them,” Ferry said. “They made an effort to get back for the game.”
Ferry said one reason Velton Jones had so much success was because a freshman was guarding him.
“Velton is a fantastic point guard,” Ferry said. “They are a better team than we are. They have more shooters, and that opens up the floor for Velton.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-836-5095.