Full-strength RMU beats Quinnipiac
Things were back to normal for Robert Morris against Quinnipiac Saturday at Sewall Center.
The Colonials had their full complement of players as Velton Jones and Karvel Anderson returned to the lineup, and the Colonials (12-7, 4-2) rolled to their fourth consecutive Northeast Conference victory, defeating Quinnipiac, 87-75.
Jones and Anderson were out with injuries in the Colonials' win against Sacred Heart on Thursday.
Both players made their presence known early as Robert Morris opened up a 41-29 halftime lead. Jones scored 13 of 14 points in the opening half and Anderson scored nine of his points.
“Our first half was excellent in terms of details defensively, rebounding the basketball and limiting their touches in the paint,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said. “In the second half, they did a better job getting the ball into the paint, and that's one of their strengths.”
The Colonials used a balanced scoring attack for the second consecutive game as Russell Johnson led the way with 22 points, moving four points shy of 1,000 in his career, and Lucky Jones added 18.
Jones has played well the past three games since sitting out the team's win at Fairleigh Dickinson.
“The light went off for me at the FDU game,” said Lucky Jones, who also contributed a team-high eight rebounds. “It was tough watching everyone play so hard.”
Toole said Johnson is back playing like the player he expected.
“He's back to normal,” Toole said. “These last four games he's been so much more active and engaged. He was involved in a ton of tough plays around the basket.”
“I'm in my zone right now,” Johnson said. “I'm not focusing on negative things and playing with confidence.”
Robert Morris increased its lead to 57-35 with 14:15 left by outscoring Quinnipiac, 16-7, to begin the second half.
Quinnipiac (6-12, 2-4) stormed back and closed to within 66-54 with 7:27 left. But they could get no closer as the Colonials continued to make shots and hit free throws (24 for 35).
Robert Morris used an 8-0 run to erase an early 12-10 deficit. David Appolon's steal and layup tied the score and Anderson's 3-pointer gave the Colonials the lead for good.
Zaid Hearst led Quinnipiac with 16 points and Evan Conti added 13.
Quinnipiac turned the ball over 15 times, 12 in the first half when the Colonials opened up their lead.
Anderson and Jones each had five assists.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.