Share This Page

Roster size just a number for Robert Morris

| Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 11:56 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris' David Appolon pulls a second-half rebound away from LIU Brooklyn's Troy Joseph and Gerrell Martin on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at Sewall Center.

Robert Morris basketball coach Andy Toole said injured center Stephan Hawkins is “50-50” to play Saturday in the Colonials' regular-season home finale against St. Francis (N.Y.).

In other words, there is more than a slight chance that Toole will have just seven players for all or most of the game.

“I wouldn't say it's not a big deal,” he said. “But we'll go out and play.”

The Colonials' tallest player at 6-foot-9, Hawkins sprained his left ankle with 9:51 left in the first half against LIU Brooklyn on Thursday. The sophomore spent the rest of the game on the bench, the ankle heavily wrapped.

Afterward, he said it hurt “really bad.”

Hawkins said he felt better Friday and practiced somewhat gingerly. Toole said his status will be a “game-time decision.”

Without the improving Hawkins, the Colonials showed they could function with seven players. Trailing by 16 points early in the second half, they beat LIU 73-64.

It was just one more obstacle Robert Morris has surmounted during an eventful season that includes a 5-10 nonconference record followed by the loss of six players who were suspended by the university or quit the team, leaving eight players on the roster.

After all of that — and Hawkins' injury — the Colonials are 12-1 atop the Northeast Conference. The win over LIU coupled with a loss by second-place Bryant clinched at least a share of the regular-season title.

“Overcoming adversity is just something that we do,” said senior guard Karvel Anderson, who scored all 26 of his points against LIU in the second half, including 17 in the final 4:30. “We enjoy doing it and being pretty good at it.”

Hawkins played only eight minutes, but Toole managed to refrain from overworking the remaining players. None played more than 33 minutes or fewer than 21.

Toole said “a lot of things can present issues” with potentially having seven players, including rebounding, play-calling — “having guys in different spots” — and fouls.

So far, however, the Colonials remain unfazed.

“There's some great character in that locker room,” Toole said. “There's some great heart in that locker room.”

Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bcohn@tribweb.com or via Twitter@BCohn_Trib.

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.