RMU escapes Wagner in OT
By Chris Adamski
Published: Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 10:24 p.m.
Of the 40 regulation minutes of Robert Morris' game against Wagner on Saturday night, the Colonials led for 39:38 of it.
For almost 30 of those minutes, they held a double-digit lead. During the remaining 22 seconds, the contest was tied. Even including overtime, Robert Morris never trailed.
It just didn't feel like it, particularly in the second half.
Russell Johnson and Lucky Jones each had 21 points as the Colonials dominated early but needed to hang on for an 83-79 overtime victory against Wagner at Sewall Center.
“‘Wow' would probably be the first reaction,” said coach Andrew Toole, whose team led by as many as 21. “I don't think we could have played any better in the first half — and I don't think we could have played any worse in the second.
“The thing about it is, we found a way to win the game.”
Robert Morris opened the game on a 12-2 run and held first-half leads of 18-4, 26-10 and 40-19. But it wasn't nearly as easy as the Colonials were making it look in the first half, when they shot 58 percent.
Robert Morris led, 42-27, at halftime and scored the first five points of the second half to extend its lead to 20. But Wagner was by far the better team from then on, shooting 61 percent and forcing 10 turnovers with its full-court press.
“The second half, they really turned the heat up on us,” forward Russell Johnson said.
Kenneth Ortiz and Latif Rivers had 22 points apiece for Wagner (13-10, 7-5 Northeast Conference), which lost its eighth consecutive at Robert Morris but almost won for the second consecutive trip to Allegheny County. The Seahawks upset Pitt, 59-54, on Dec. 23, 2011.
Velton Jones (shoulder) and Mike McFadden (personal) returned to the Colonials (17-8, 9-3) after missing Wednesday's 60-48 victory against St. Francis (Pa.), but junior guard Anthony Myers-Pate sat out with a concussion. The loss of one of the Colonials' primary ball-handers didn't help matters against a Wagner team that played with a forced desperation after falling behind.
“Their pressure tonight was extra-aggressive, extra physical, and we didn't handle it very well,” Toole said.
Robert Morris committed four turnovers over the final 3:40 of regulation.
Ortiz hit a runner with five seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 73, and Johnson missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that could have won it.
Lucky Jones had six of Robert Morris' 10 points in overtime.
The win, which clinched the Colonials' eighth straight winning season, pulled Robert Morris to within a half-game of NEC leader Bryant.
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Worilds loses sack; Big Ben gets 1st career catch
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers
- Century III new owner seeks to reverse vacancy trend with new theater
- Penguins center Sutter is thriving despite unsettled 3rd line
- Kovacevic: Why give credence to Heisman?
- Health-insurance mandate poses potential hitch for volunteer fire companies
- Police: Fayette man took money from foreigners in exchange for passing driver’s license exam
- Pirates not yet talking extensions with Alvarez, Walker
- Pirates sign free agent pitcher Volquez
- Pitt’s Donald wins Lombardi Award
- Baldwin-Whitehall School Board eliminates controversial administrative position