RMU tops St. Francis (Pa.) for fifth straight NEC win
LORETTO – Some nights, you just can't miss.
That's what it seemed like in the first half Thursday night at the St. Francis University's DeGol Arena. Robert Morris torched the nets.
The Colonials (13-7, 5-2 NEC) played their best first half of the season, and rolled to an 84-70 victory in a Northeast Conference contest. They needed it as the Red Flash battled back in the second half.
The Colonials have won five consecutive NEC games and have won 10 in a row against St. Francis (1-17, 1-6 NEC) and 15 of their past 16 meetings.
Karvel Anderson was 7 for 7 from the field in the first half and when he scored 19 of his 22 points. Velton Jones also scored 11 in the first half as Robert Morris opened up a 47-31 halftime lead. Jones ended up with 15 points.
“I didn't feel comfortable until after I made my fourth shot,” Anderson said. “I just had one of those games. I've put up so many shots in my lifetime; I think I can make them all.”
It was the third consecutive game the Colonials had four players in double figures. Lucky Jones chipped in with 16, 14 in the second half, and Russell Johnson added 12.
“We had one turnover and 15 assists,” RMU coach Andy Toole said. “Obviously the way Karvel was shooting it and other guys making shots, it's hard not to be positive. But we always talk about the defensive side of the floor and we had too many breakdowns.”
St. Francis, which has now dropped six consecutive games, started three sophomores and two freshmen.
“We actually didn't play as well as we should,” Velton Jones said. “Our defense was terrible. We didn't defend. But we actually made some shots and that's what helped us win the game.”
Robert Morris opened up a 54-32 lead early in the second half, but the hot 3-point shooting of freshman Ben Millaud-Meunier (22 points) and sophomore Dominique Major (11 points) helped the Red Flash pull to within 74-64 with 4:26 left.
St. Francis sophomore forward Earl Brown had his streak of seven consecutive double-doubles stopped.
“We had to contain him and I felt we did a good job,” Velton Jones said. “We had to play our game and we tried to block out their record.”
He scored 11 points, but only had five rebounds.
St. Francis coach Rob Krimmel said he felt his team played soft in the first half against the experienced Colonials.
“Robert Morris is a talented team and in the first half we weren't tough enough and we weren't aggressive enough with our close outs,” Krimmel said. “After Karvel made a few shots, we allowed him to catch the ball too much. We had to make someone else beat us.”
Robert Morris played without junior forward Mike McFadden. He was out his an injury.