Robert Morris men's basketball team gains 1st win
Robert Morris men's basketball coach Andy Toole knew it was going to sound bizarre after a 29-point loss to Lehigh on Monday, but he felt like he got his team back despite the lopsided score.
Robert Morris (1-2) got its first win of the 2012-13 season Tuesday, beating Fordham (0-3) in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament, 74-58, at Petersen Events Center.
“I think what I meant by that was getting their attention,” said Toole, whose team went 26-11 last season. “We're battling success. Hey, we were good last year, we've got everybody back, we're just going to be good again, and that's not how it works. Once they see that they need each other and they need to buy into what we're doing, now you can start to make strides.”
Senior guard Velton Jones led Robert Morris with 18 points and added five assists. Junior guard Karvel Anderson scored 16 points off the bench and had seven rebounds. Sophomore forward Lucky Jones just missed a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, and junior Coron Williams scored 13 points.
Fordham junior guard Brenden Frazier led all scorers with 21 points, and he contributed seven assists.
Robert Morris led at halftime, 37-29, but Fordham tied it, 39-39, three minutes into the second half. Toole called a timeout. For the next five minutes the two teams jockeyed, with Robert Morris going up by five, and then Fordham cutting it to two. The Colonials went up by five again on a Velton Jones jumper and a free throw by Lucky Jones, only to have Frazier cut it to three again.
But a 12-0 run helped put the Colonials on top for good, and Fordham got no closer than six points.
“We were just following our defensive details and staying in the game,” Velton Jones said of the run.
Robert Morris' first game of the season, a 79-54 loss to Rider, was a disjointed effort in which Toole said everyone was trying to do everything on their own. Toole believed that Monday night was more of a team effort, and they built on that Tuesday.
“A lot of the stuff we didn't do in our first two games, it's not like we changed our game plan overnight,” Toole said. “Sometimes things start to change when people get tired of the result. You lose two games, all of a sudden guys are getting sick and tired of what's going on and maybe they're a little more tuned in to what we do.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.