Buffalo blows past Robert Morris at Sewall Center
Robert Morris' early-season struggles continued Sunday, but the Colonials showed some fight in a 74-59 loss to Buffalo at Sewall Center.
During a minor skirmish with 2:37 left, Buffalo's Mory Diane and RMU's Lionel Gomes were ejected for leaving the bench, and the Bulls' Shannon Evans and Colonials' Lucky Jones and Elijah Minnie received technical fouls. No punches were thrown, but a few shoves were exchanged.
Poor shooting early, only four offensive rebounds and more turnovers than field goals (24-23) were too much for the Colonials (2-6) to overcome.
“We don't value the ball,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said. “We make too many negative plays that impact your ability to win the game.
“I did feel we played with a little more energy, but we still have too many breakdowns.”
Toole was livid after Tuesday's loss to Youngstown State, tearing into his team's lack of passion. But he said the mistakes that occurred in the six previous games continued to hurt the squad.
Stephen Bennett gave Robert Morris a 2-0 lead, then Buffalo (5-2) went on a 7-0 run and slowly pulled away.
The Colonials missed their first nine shots from beyond the 3-point arc and were 1 for 10 in the first half. They finished 4 for 20. In all, though, the Colonials shot 48 percent (23 for 48).
“Sometimes we make low-percentage offensive plays,” Toole said. “We put ourselves in frustrating positions.”
Buffalo's inside game was too much. Junior forward Justin Moss dominated, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Will Regan added 12 points.
After Moss became a force inside, Shannon Evans (14 points) and Jarryn Skeete (11 points) were able to hit open outside shots.
Buffalo led 33-23 at halftime.
RMU freshman Marcquise Reed, who finished with a game-high 18 points, scored six points to open the second half and trim the deficit to 36-29.
But Buffalo regained control and stretched its lead to 57-37 with 7:19 left.
Part of the late-game skirmish could be attributed to the pressure of losing, Toole said.
“I've been hoping they get tired of losing,” Toole said. “There is a lot of frustration in the coaches' office, and there are certain players frustrated. Everything in this game is what your pay for.
“There is no guy in the back of a truck selling wins. You get what you pay for through sweat, knowledge, effort, energy and making good decisions. If we're not willing to pay the price, we'll keep getting Ls.”
Jones, who was 4 for 14 from the field, had 12 points. Minnie and Rodney Pryor each had 10. Minnie also pulled down 10 rebounds.