Robert Morris blows 18-point lead, loses to CCSU
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Andy Toole knows what he'll take away from Robert Morris' 74-73 loss to Central Connecticut State on Saturday afternoon at Sewall Center, a game that saw the Colonials blow an 18-point second-half lead.
The Colonials face a three-game road trip that begins Thursday at LIU Brooklyn, and exactly zero confidence will be lost from this toe-stubbing.
• Nine misses on 15 free-throw attempts in the second half, 59.1 percent for the game.
• Outrebounded 38-29.
• One for 9 from 3-point range in the second half after making 7 of 17 in the first.
“I'm not sure what we're going to take from this — other, maybe, than trying to do the polar opposite of the way we finished the game,” Toole said.
Robert Morris led 65-50 with 5:53 to go, but that quickly evaporated.
So drastically, senior guard Karvel Anderson said, that he could sense it.
“You could see our lack of urgency,” he said. “We weren't as urgent as we were in the first half. We got comfortable, and we let it go away. They were able to make plays, and we weren't able to rebound from it.”
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for Robert Morris, which has just eight available players.
Asked whether it would've helped to have a few more bodies, Toole shot back, “It would have been nice to have at least eight players ready to play.”
With 9 seconds left, CCSU's Matt Mobley grabbed the rebound of Anderson's off-balance miss and was fouled by Anderson on the offensive end. He made both free throws for the final margin.
Lucky Jones' inbounds pass was stolen by Mobley with 2.2 seconds to go to seal it.
The loss dropped RMU to 12-11, 7-1 in the Northeast Conference. CCSU improved to 6-15, 2-6.
“It's only one game,” Jones said, “but we need to make sure that we look at this game and learn so we won't have a slip-up game like this again.”
Jones surpassed 1,000 career points and led all scorers with 22.
Anderson added 18 points and reached double figures for the 22nd time in RMU's 23 games.
Khalen Cumberlander scored 18 points for CCSU, and Malcolm McMillan finished with 14. Mobley and Faronte Drakeford had 12 apiece.
When David Appolon's layup teetered on the rim for a second and eventually fell for a 63-45 advantage with 7:38 to go, the game appeared over.
But CCSU's Mobley hit two 3s, McMillan a jumper and a 3-pointer, and the Blue Devils eventually cut the lead to five.
McMillan made it 73-72 with a driving layup with 42 seconds to go.
Robert Morris let the clock run and called timeout, but Anderson's off-balance attempt was no good, allowing Mobley to convert in the clutch.
“Our performance was very terrible on defense,” Jones said. “We let the game slip away.”
In building a 46-30 halftime lead, Robert Morris shot 41.2 percent (7 for 17) from long range — 47.1 percent total — compared to just 30 percent for CCSU.
The Colonials had seven assists on 16 first-half field goals and forced CCSU into nine turnovers.
That was the opposite of what transpired in the second half.
“We didn't respect the game in the second half,” Toole said. “We didn't respect our opponent in the second half. Usually what happens is something extremely disappointing, and that's what you saw out there today.”
Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.
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