Lafayette routs Robert Morris, 77-50, in season opener
This was not what Robert Morris coach Andy Toole had in mind for the dawn of a new season, yet he could see it happening.
In the worst home defeat since February 1996, the Colonials were outplayed and thoroughly schooled by a veteran Lafayette team 77-50 on Friday at Sewall Center.
“Obviously, that's not the way we wanted to start our season, clearly,” Toole said.
The Leopards manhandled RMU from the start, building a lead that peaked at 40. Shooting 51 percent, Lafayette dissected the Colonials' 2-3 zone with a cool precision.
“I knew it would be a great test of our zone as an opener, and clearly we failed the test,” Toole said.
RMU, also facing a zone, shot 25 percent.
With a mix of a few experienced players and several new ones, the Colonials were no match for a club coming off an 11-20 season but with every key player back in uniform. Seniors Dan Trist and Seth Hinrichs combined with sophomore Nick Hinrichs to score 54 points.
“They have guys who have played together two and three years,” Toole said. “They have very talented upperclassmen. They have a great buy-in to what their plan is.
“When you put a team like that on the floor as unselfish as they are and with as many weapons as they have, it's obviously my worst fear. I knew if we did things in a particular fashion, that this could happen.”
The Colonials were ineffective on both ends.
“We just didn't follow the coaches' game plan on the defensive side,” senior guard David Appolon said. “On the offensive side, we just took shots.”
Senior forward Lucky Jones, the team's second-leading scorer last season, missed 12 of 14 shots. He was one of three RMU players with 10 points.
“Obviously, I shot tremendously terrible today,” Jones said.
The Colonials will have ample opportunity to fix things during their nonconference schedule.
The bad news is the next six games all are away, starting with No. 6 North Carolina on Sunday.
Toole said, “If you lose by 27 to Lafayette, Sunday could be (long pause) bad.”
Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.