Robert Morris snaps home losing skid, tops Duquesne again
Robert Morris ended one streak and continued another Saturday at Sewall Center.
Playing its best game of the season, Robert Morris (3-6) ended a four-game home losing streak dating to the 2014 Northeast Conference championship game and won its fifth consecutive game against Duquesne with a 75-59 victory.
Robert Morris did it without the services of senior guard Lucky Jones, who is nursing a finger injury on his right hand, and junior college transfer forward Lionel Gomes, sidelined with a hamstring injury.
The Colonials used an early 10-0 run to take control of the game. They built a 29-15 lead behind Rodney Pryor, who scored 14 of his team-high 25 points in the first half, and balanced team scoring.
“I'm really proud of the performance by the guys,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said. “It was clearly our most complete game offensively and defensively.”
Freshman forward Elijah Minnie said the change began at practice and carried over into the game.
“It didn't matter if it was Duquesne or if it was Toledo on Wednesday, we're going to play with the same intensity,” he said. “We competed and we all played together.”
The Colonials dominated the first half, making 14 of 29 shots (48.3 percent) from the field while the Dukes with 10 for 31 (32.3), 5 for 17 from the 3-point line. RMU led at halftime 39-30.
“We got completely out-toughened,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. “We're mentally soft and it really showed (tonight).”
Derrick Colter, who finished with 17 points, got Duquesne (3-4) to within 46-42 with 15:43 left by making three 3-pointers.
But Robert Morris regained control, going on a 14-0 run to take a 60-42 lead.
“We cut it to four and then I think we took some bad shots and let it leak out for them,” Ferry said. “It changed the game right there.”
Minnie had a solid game in the paint, scoring 10 points and pulling in 10 rebounds for the second consecutive game. Kavon Stewart had 12 points and 11 assists, and Marcquise Reed scored 10.
Andre Frederick also played his best game of the season, blocking four shots.
Eric James came off the bench to score 11 of his 17 points in the first half for Duquesne.
The Dukes finished 19 for 61 from the floor (31.1) and 8 for 35 from 3-point range. Micah Mason was 1 for 7 and James was 2 for 8.
Three games ago, Duquesne was near the top in the NCAA in 3-pointers. The last three games they shooting around 25 percent.
“Sometimes we have the wrong guys taking the 3-pointer,” Ferry said. “Micah's lost a little bit of confidence.
“I still think we have pretty good shooting. It's one of our strengths. But to come into a gym like this and go 8 for 35 is disappointing.”
Robert Morris, which outrebounded Duquesne, 46-36, was 26 for 56 (46.4) from the field and 5 for 11 from 3-point range.
Duquesne has lost consecutive games to Pitt, Penn State and Robert Morris. It plays host to St. Francis (Pa.) on Wednesday.