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Shooting saves turnover-prone Robert Morris

By John Grupp
Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012

Robert Morris proved that shooting well can erase many other mistakes.

The Colonials committed a mind-boggling 31 turnovers Monday at Ohio but shot a season-best 53.2 percent from the field to escape with an unlikely, 70-67 victory over the red-hot Bobcats.

"To come in here and beat Ohio U., the way that they've been playing, is pretty remarkable," Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said after the game. "We have a ton of respect for what they're doing and some of the opponents they've played this season and the way they've beat them."

Russell Johnson had seven turnovers but also had 10 points, three steals, two blocked shots and two assists. Coron Williams (five turnovers) scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Velton Jones (four turnovers) scored 17 points and added six assists.

The Colonials (11-4) led for virtually the entire game to earn its biggest nonconference victory in years. Ohio (12-2) had won nine in a row, was undefeated at home and received 28 votes in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll — more than Pitt, Vanderbilt, Xavier and Purdue combined.

Robert Morris, which continues its five-game road swing at Bryant (R.I.) on Thursday, also used hustle and defense to overcome the turnovers: The Colonials were plus-14 in rebounding and harassed Ohio into a 3-for-26 effort from the 3-point arc.

"I thought they were the better basketball team tonight," Ohio coach John Groce said.

> > The West Virginia women will try to snap a 16-year drought when the Mountaineers travel to play No. 2 Connecticut tonight.

West Virginia (10-3, 1-0) has never beaten the Huskies since joining the Big East in 1995-96, going 0-23 against Geno Auriemma's perennial power. The Mountaineers won the first meeting between the two schools, 62-50, in January 1982, but it's been the Huskies ever since.

District Schedule


St. Joseph's at Duquesne

When/where: 7 p.m. Wednesday/Palumbo Center

On air: WPGB-FM (104.7)

Records: St. Joseph 10-4, 0-0 Atlantic 10; Duquesne 9-5, 0-0

Line: Duquesne by 1

Series: St. Joseph's leads, 35-12

Of note: Duquesne is 3-3 against St. Joseph's under coach Ron Everhart after going 1-15 in the previous 16 meetings.

Players to watch

St. Joseph's: Carl Jones, Jr., G — Averaging a team-best 18.8 points and 3.3 assists.

Duquesne: Jerry Jones, So., G/F — Scored a career-high 19 points in 21 minutes off the bench against Houston Baptist on Dec. 31.

West Virginia at Rutgers

When/where: 7 p.m. Wednesday/The RAC, New Brunswick, N.J.

On air: Root Sports/Mountaineer Sports Network

Records: West Virginia 10-4, 1-1 Big East; Rutgers 8-6, 0-1

Line: West Virginia by 3

Series: West Virginia leads, 44-26

Of note: West Virginia hasn't lost to Rutgers since March 2004, winning six in a row.

Players to watch

West Virginia: Jabarie Hinds, Fr., G — The New York product leads the team in assists (53) and steals (22) while shooting 46 percent from the field.

Rutgers: Eli Carter, Fr., G — The reigning Big East Freshman of the Week averaged 27 points against Florida and South Florida.


West Virginia at 2-Connecticut

When/where: 7 p.m. Wednesday/Gampel Pavilion, Storrs, Conn.

Records: West Virginia 10-3, 1-0 Big East; Connecticut 11-1, 1-0

Series: Connecticut leads, 23-1

Of note: Connecticut leads the nation with a scoring margin of 39.2 points per game.

Players to watch

West Virginia: Asya Bussie, Jr., C — The 6-foot-4 Bussie is tied for second in the Big East in blocked shots (2.1 per game).

Connecticut: Tiffany Hayes, Sr., G — Averaging 14.3 points and a team-best 5.8 rebounds, with 45 assists and 27 steals.



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