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RMU puts forth better effort, beats St. Francis Brooklyn

| Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, 7:39 p.m.

Shots were contested, rotations were made properly and the Robert Morris men's basketball team spilled across the court for loose balls.

The Colonials didn't want to leave their coach's question unanswered.

RMU coach Andy Toole questioned his players' desire following a loss to LIU Brooklyn on Thursday night.

Along with the query came an apology to fans and the school. Making that sort of concession was unnecessary after a 62-58 win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday in a Northeast Conference game at Sewall Center.

RMU instead sapped the will from its foe, holding the Terriers without a field goal for 6 minutes, 57 seconds in the first half.

“To their credit, they were playing with good urgency,” Toole said. “They were extremely detailed and played with the right amount of energy. That stuff has to be non-negotiable. … It's a shame sometimes to get some of your best efforts you have to have some of your poorest.”

That isn't to say RMU was able to find 100 percent consistency. St. Francis battled back from a 15-point deficit early in the second half to make it a one-point game with less than four minutes remaining.

Keon Williams cut the Terriers' deficit to 52-51 with 5:01 remaining.

The Colonials (6-11, 2-2) were able to make the plays to close the game.

St. Francis then went cold again, and RMU utilized free throws and a layup from guard Kavon Stewart, who returned following a one-game suspension for violating team rules.

“I think we responded pretty well, but I think we got up today and let our guard down,” said Stewart, who finished with seven points. “We are still working on that killer mentality. Once we get them down, keep them down and keep pounding on them.”

Showcasing renewed vigor was important for the Colonials, who were off to an 0-4 start at home for the first time in their history.

“It's amazing what can happen when you try, right?” Toole said.

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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