RMU domination over St. Francis (Pa.) continues
Robert Morris continues to find ways to win basketball games short-handed.
Take Wednesday. The Colonials were without two starters, Velton Jones and Mike McFadden, and still managed to grind out a 60-48 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) in a Northeast Conference game at Sewall Center.
Robert Morris' domination in the series continued, thanks in part to the play of sophomore forward Lucky Jones and junior guard Karvel Anderson.
Jones scored a career-high 20 points and topped it off with a perfect shooting night. He was 3 for 3 from the field and 13 for 13 from the foul line, a Sewall Center record by a Colonials player.
Anderson came off the bench to score 17 for Robert Morris (16-8, 8-3 NEC), which has won 11 consecutive games against the Red Flash — a school record — and 16 of the past 17 meetings.
“This was a very well-earned and hard-fought win,” coach Andy Toole said. “I was excited by the way the team worked together and carried out our game plan and continued to figure out things on the fly.
“We did a very nice job against them in the first half defensively, and I felt we did a good job in the second half defensively.”
Robert Morris played without senior point guard Velton Jones, who was out nursing a right shoulder injury, and junior forward Mike McFadden, who missed the game for personal reasons.
There was only one tie, and Robert Morris never trailed, but the Red Flash made enough plays to keep the game close.
Robert Morris led, 25-16, at halftime thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the corner by Anthony Myers-Pate.
“That was a basketball play,” Lucky Jones said. “We missed a shot, got the rebound, and Anthony made the next one.”
Neither team shot well in the first half. The Colonials were 8 for 24 (33 percent) and the Red Flash were 5 for 19 (26.3 percent).
The Colonials forced 16 turnovers while committing just seven.
Toole said he focused the team on taking care of the defensive end first.
“Making sure they followed the details, following our formula, following our scouting report and following the game plan,” he said. “And then we let the offensive end take care of itself.”
Toole said he was pleased with the effort against forward Earl Brown, who was the conference leader in double-doubles. Brown was held to five points and six rebounds.
“We kept him off the glass,” Anderson said. “That's where he does most of his damage.”
Senior Russell Johnson, Lucky Jones and freshman Stephan Hawkins kept him away, and Hawkins had three blocks.
“I'm starting to play with more confidence,” Hawkins said. “I have a lot of support from my teammates.”
Johnson had seven points and nine rebounds.
Umar Shannon led St. Francis (2-20, 2-9 NEC) with 12 points, and Dominique Major added 10.