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Robert Morris seizes control in final minute to beat Duquesne

| Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, 9:27 p.m.
Robert Morris' Billy Giles dunks past Duquesne's Eric James (2) and Tarin Smith during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Billy Giles dunks past Duquesne's Eric James (2) and Tarin Smith during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Kavon Stewart battles Duquesne's Nakye Sanders for a loose ball during the second half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Kavon Stewart battles Duquesne's Nakye Sanders for a loose ball during the second half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Aaron Tate (right) celebrates with Clive Allen next to Duquesne's Emile Blackman after Allen was fouled with 7 seconds in the game Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Aaron Tate (right) celebrates with Clive Allen next to Duquesne's Emile Blackman after Allen was fouled with 7 seconds in the game Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Duquesne's Rene Castro drives to the basket against Robert Morris' Dachon Burke during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Duquesne's Rene Castro drives to the basket against Robert Morris' Dachon Burke during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris coach Andy Toole gestures during the first half against Duquesne on Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris coach Andy Toole gestures during the first half against Duquesne on Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Duquesne coach Jim Ferry gestures during the first half against Robert Morris on Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Duquesne coach Jim Ferry gestures during the first half against Robert Morris on Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Dachon Burke steals the ball from Duquesne's Emile Blackman during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Dachon Burke steals the ball from Duquesne's Emile Blackman during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Billy Giles battles Duquesne's Emile Blackman for a loose ball during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Billy Giles battles Duquesne's Emile Blackman for a loose ball during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Isaiah Still celebrates with Dachon Burke after defeating Duquesne Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Isaiah Still celebrates with Dachon Burke after defeating Duquesne Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Isaiah Still drives to the basket between Duquesne's Isiaha Mike and Nakye Sanders during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Isaiah Still drives to the basket between Duquesne's Isiaha Mike and Nakye Sanders during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Isaiah Still shoots over Duquesne's Tarin Smith during the second half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Isaiah Still shoots over Duquesne's Tarin Smith during the second half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Clive Allen blocks a shot by Duquesne's Tarin Smith next to Isaiah Still during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Clive Allen blocks a shot by Duquesne's Tarin Smith next to Isaiah Still during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Robert Morris' Dachon Burke battles Duquesne's Emile Blackman for a loose ball during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Dachon Burke battles Duquesne's Emile Blackman for a loose ball during the first half Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena.

Kavon Stewart doesn't need to request the Robert Morris men's basketball team have its name moved up the Division I pecking order in Pittsburgh. The senior guard and his Colonials teammates made their statement Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena.

In a game featuring 17 lead changes, Colonials guard Isaiah Still banked in shot with 7.3 seconds left to propel RMU to a 64-60 win.

“I always take games against Duquesne personal,” Stewart said. “A lot of the city is based off of Pitt of course, and they always say Duquesne and mention us last. I've been here for three years and went 3-1 against them. I come out with a chip on my shoulder and say this game is personal.”

Trying to build off their first win against Pitt in 16 years, the Dukes played flat. Duquesne (4-6) turned the ball over nine times in the second half and missed 10 free throws.

“For us, like most of the times it comes over to turnovers and free throws,” Dukes coach Jim Ferry said. “We have to learn to finish these games and try to win these games.”

Robert Morris, which had lost its last two games, has beaten Duquesne in six of the last seven meetings.

Duquesne guard Tarin Smith said the Dukes didn't feel like they were unprepared.

“There wasn't a Pitt hangover,” said Smith, who scored 10 points. “I think they played better than us.”

The Colonials (3-7) displayed toughness in the final 30 seconds. Robert Morris fell behind 59-58 when Dukes guard Mike Lewis II made a layup.

Still fought through hard contact in the lane on the next possession and banked in a shot. Robert Morris then forced a turnover and received a pair of free throws from Clive Allen to extend the lead to 62-59.

“That last play, I just converted a tough shot and thank God it went in,” said Still, who finished with a game-high 22 points.

Both teams went back and forth throughout the game. Neither teams led by more than nine points.

Nayke Sanders recorded a double-double for Duquesne, finishing with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Allen finished with 11 points for the Colonials.

Robert Morris led 37-33 at halftime.

The Colonials pushed the lead to 42-33 — the largest margin of the game — on a jumper by Matty McConnell (Chartiers Valley) with 18:27 remaining.

The Colonials appeared to earn separation on a pair of 3-pointers with 6:09 remaining. Kavon Stewart made a contested 3-pointer to put Robert Morris ahead, 52-51. Following a stop and offensive rebound, the Colonials found Still in the corner for another 3-pointer extend the lead to 55-51.

Following a Duquesne charge, the Colonials found good shots down the stretch.

Robert Morris coach Andy Toole was thrilled with the win. Acknowledging who the best basketball team in the city wasn't something he was worried about.

“Ah, I wouldn't go that far,” Toole said when asked if RMU was better than PItt. “We've got a lot of work to do, but if the transitive property is in effect today we'll take it.”

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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