Robert Morris men fall to Mount St. Mary's
It's tough enough to win a college basketball game with a full roster.
But when your team is missing four scholarship players, including your leader scorer, the task is almost impossible.
Robert Morris found that out Thursday night, falling behind by 30 points in the first half and losing to first-place Mount St. Mary's, 76-52, in a Northeast Conference game at Sewall Center.
Mount St. Mary's (7-11, 4-1) used a 21-0 run in the first half to put the game away.
Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said he was more concerned with his team's effort. He called it embarrassing.
“That was absolutely atrocious,” Toole said. “Credit Mount, we fell right into their trap. They turned us over, and we shot quickly.
“Our offense affected our defense. It was a terrible effort on our part. It's all on me.”
Robert Morris senior guard Rodney Pryor, who averaged a team-high 20.2 points, and sophomore forward Andre Frederick did not dress after colliding at practice Tuesday and suffering head injuries. Toole said they are going through the concussion protocol.
Freshman Jordan Lester did not dress because of an illness, and senior forward Aaron Tate remains sidelined with a leg injury.
Robert Morris (3-15, 1-4) had four walk-ons — Conrad Stephens, Nate Johnson, Anthony Pugh and Seth Rouse — play.
After a basket by Robert Morris freshman Steven Whitley cut the Mount St. Mary's lead to 9-7 at the 10-minute, 15-second mark, the Mountaineers went on a roll.
A basket by freshman Matt McConnell, who finished with a team-high 16 points, ended the run with 1:28 left in the half. McConnell was 6 for 9 from the field.
“The loss is frustrating,” McConnell said. “We can't wait to turn it on. We need to play with the same mentality the entire game. That's when it's going to click. We can be a good team, but until then, we just can't turn it on in the second half.”
Mount St. Mary's led 43-13 at halftime after Will Miller, who had four 3-pointers in the first half, hit a long one with 1.6 seconds left. Miller and B.K. Ashe were 6 for 10 from beyond the 3-point line in the first half.
“We got out-toughed,” junior point guard Kavon Stewart said. “They came in here and did whatever they wanted. We had a game plan, and we didn't follow it at all.
“It's been a problem all year, waiting until the last minute to pick it up and try to play catch-up. You can't do that.”
The Colonials played better in the second half, outscoring the Mountaineers, 39-33.
Stewart had 12 points for Robert Morris, which hosts Fairleigh Dickinson at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Ashe led Mount St. Mary's with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Miller added 12, and Gregory Graves and Chris Wray scored 11 points each.
“I'm embarrassed,” Toole said. “I'm unable to get these guys to come together and be a team.
“It drives me insane, but we'll keep working.”