Robert Morris can clinch conference with win at Bryant
College Football Videos
Central Connecticut State coach Howie Dickenman's prediction was correct.
After his team defeated Robert Morris at the Sewall Center on Jan. 5, dropping the Colonials to 0-2 in the Northeast Conference, Dickenman said not to worry, Robert Morris would be OK.
Colonials coach Andy Toole wasn't as optimistic. It was a low point of the season, and a frustrated Toole was searching for answers about why his team struggled to rebound and play good defense.
Toole found his answers, and with two games left in the regular season, Robert Morris faces Bryant on Thursday beedubg a victory to clinch the conference title and home-court advantage in the NEC Tournament. Robert Morris (12-4) is a game ahead of Bryant (11-5) in the NEC with two games remaining.
The Colonials' recent game against Fairleigh Dickerson was an example of how far the team has come. As the Colonials rolled to an 89-46 victory, they were dominant on boards and played solid defense.
“We have to put forth that same effort at Bryant,” senior guard Velton Jones said. “We have to stay focused and pay attention to details.”
Toole put his players on day-to-day contracts after those early losses, making sure the players simplified their focus. If players didn't honor the terms of the contract, they sat.
The players responded, yet there still are times they have Toole shaking his head.
“We like to learn the hard way because we're stubborn,” Toole said. “Thankfully, we have learned, but there's still a lot more to try and accomplish and stay focused on.”
Beating Bryant is a must and can make Saturday's game against Central Connecticut State less important. If Bryant wins Thursday, it would hold the tiebreaker over RMU.
Bryant opened the conference season winning six consecutive games. Since that quick start, it is 5-5. The Bulldogs won the first meeting in Moon Township, 84-77.
The trio of Dyami Starks (29 points), Frankie Dobbs (26) and Alex Francis (18) combined for 73 points for Bryant.
“We're looking forward to the challenge,” Jones said after scoring 20 points against FDU.
The play of Jones and senior forward Russell Johnson has drastically improved — Jones as a floor general and creator and Johnson playing with confidence.
Johnson has pulled down more than 700 rebounds in his career, and he's closing in on the school record of 751. He is third with 715.
“I want that record,” Johnson said. “But the conference title is more important.”
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.
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- 2 dead in New Kensington shooting; woman says male victim her son
- Pitt sophomore Coles leaves football team
- GOP: Wolf ‘Fresh Start’ campaign violates Pennsylvania law
- DEP to spend $1.45M to snuff coal fire posing threat by Pittsburgh airport
- Braves’ error, Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in 9th help Pirates snap long skid
- Commitment by Steelers’ Gilbert pays off
- $4M floor project at Pittsburgh International Airport to replace drab gray, clickety-clack tile
- Catholic Diocese of Greensburg injunction becomes permanent