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RMU men's basketball finalizes schedule for 'home' games

Paul Schofield
| Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, 4:18 p.m.
Robert Morris' Matty McConnell battles LIU Brooklyn's Julius van Sauers for a rebound during the first half Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, at Sewall Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' Matty McConnell battles LIU Brooklyn's Julius van Sauers for a rebound during the first half Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, at Sewall Center.

The Robert Morris men's basketball team will be road warriors this upcoming season.

Even their home games will be off the Moon Township campus — eight at PPG Paints Arena and four at Duquesne's Palumbo Center.

Robert Morris is constructing a new basketball arena to replace the Sewall Center. That building is scheduled to be open in January of 2019.

RMU finalized its home schedule last week with Duquesne. Included on the slate for the Colonials at the Palumbo Center is their nonconference game against Canisius (Dec. 22), as well as conference games against St. Francis Brooklyn (Jan. 4), Bryant (Feb. 15) and Central Connecticut State (Feb. 17). All four games will tip at 7 p.m.

“It seemed like a natural fit for the four games that we're unable to play at PPG Paints Arena to be played at the A.J. Palumbo Center,” Robert Morris coach Andrew Toole said. “We looked at a number of options over the past few months, and we're grateful that the administration at Duquesne felt it was worth having us as a tenant at their facility.”

The road trip began Friday with a 73-70 exhibition victory at Niagara, a contest that was played to help recent relief help for hurricane victims in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

It continues Monday in Westmoreland County as the Colonials face Division III St. Vincent College at 7 p.m.

“We're excited about playing Saint Vincent in an exhibition game at the Carey Center,” Toole said. “With a young core making up the majority of our 2017-18 roster, playing on the road for our second competition this season will be a good challenge for our student-athletes.”

Matty McConnell, one of two lettermen returning, scored 27 points against Niagara. The RMU roster has nine new faces this season after graduation and transfers left the Colonials' roster short.

Not only does this help the Colonials experience about playing away from home and the season opener Nov. 10 at Ohio State, it gives them exposure to their program east of Pittsburgh.

The Colonials are two seasons removed (2014-15) from winning the Northeast Conference tournament and defeating North Florida in the NCAA tournament. The Colonials were then beaten by Duke.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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