Late run dooms Robert Morris in conference loss to LIU Brooklyn
It took awhile for Robert Morris coach Andy Toole to emerge from the locker room following Thursday's 63-62 Northeast Conference loss to LIU Brooklyn.
The meeting between the players and coaches lasted more than 90 minutes.
And while Toole doesn't know if anything was decided, he said it was a chance for the players to talk.
“A lot of the guys are frustrated,” Toole said. “The coaches are frustrated. But we're the only ones that can make it better.”
LIU Brooklyn used a 19-4 midway through the second half and rallied to defeat Robert Morris at Sewall Center. Robert Morris (12-13, 8-5) was outmuscled by LIU Brooklyn (11-13, 7-6), especially in the second half.
The Colonials were leading 47-35 when LIU Brooklyn went on the run.
The loss drops RMU into third place, three games behind St. Francis Brooklyn and one game behind Bryant.
“It's not the outcome we wanted,” Toole said. “Our defense in the second half let us down and we stopped moving the ball and doing some of the things that gave us success in the first half.
“We had some opportunities to execute down the stretch and weren't able to get it done. LIU made more plays and won the game.”
Robert Morris had a chance to win at the buzzer after Marcquise Reed's layup with 0.7 seconds to play was knocked out of bounds. But LIU Brooklyn didn't allow the Colonials to get a shot off.
The Colonials took their last lead at 62-61 with 2:23 left when Lucky Jones connected to two free throws.
LIU Brooklyn freshman Martin Hermannsson, who was held scoreless in the first half, hit two free throws to make it 63-62 with 1:37 left. Then freshman Nura Zanna blocked a layup attempt by Rodney Pryor with 1:24 left.
After a LIU Brooklyn turnover with 23 seconds left, the Colonials tried to isolate Reed, but Joel Hernandez came up with a steal with 11 seconds left. Hermannsson was fouled with 8 seconds left, but he missed both free throws setting up the game-winning attempt.
LIU Brooklyn, which trailed 40-30 at halftime, played better defense during the final 16 minutes.
Robert Morris, which led 32-16 on a 3-pointer by Pryor, shot 65.4 percent from the field (17 for 26) in the first half.
But the Colonials cooled off in the second half, shooting 25 percent (7 for 28).
LIU Brooklyn was the opposite, shooting 35.3 percent (12 for 34) in the first half and 52.5 (10 for 19) in the second half.
“A lot of the plays we made in the first half were for our teammates,” Toole said. “In the second half (they)were trying to make a lot plays for themselves and that doesn't get it done.”
Reed scored 12 points in the first half, and Aaron Tate scored eight of his 10 points in the first four minutes of the game.
Reed finished with 14 as Robert Morris only scored 22 points in the second half.
Tate added 10 and Jones, who missed last week's 72-65 loss at LIU Brooklyn with a concussion, had 12 points.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer or Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.