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Robert Morris junior guard Jones has starting power

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By John Grupp
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012

Velton Jones probably doesn't have to worry about coming off the bench anymore.

The junior guard at Robert Morris followed a motivational benching by coach Andy Toole with a pair of standout games.

On Monday, Jones,was named the Co-Northeast Conference Player of the Week. He scored 35 points as the Colonials overcame a 15-point deficit to stun Monmouth, 81-73, in overtime Saturday. The performance came two nights after Jones scored a game-high 22 points in a win over Fairleigh Dickinson.

Jones also became the 20th player in Robert Morris history to surpass 1,000 career points.

Toole, whose team had lost two in a row, decided to keep his star guard out of the starting lineup against Sacred Heart on Jan. 14 to boost the defensive intensity and to remind some players that "starting is a privilege, not a right."

Jones, who had started 70 consecutive games, admitted it was "weird" coming off the bench, but he understood his coach's motive. The Philadelphia native said he tried to do "whatever I could to help my team out."

Jones, a candidate for NEC Player of the Year, will lead second-place Robert Morris (15-6, 6-2) against first-place Long Island (14-9, 8-0) on Thursday at Sewall Center in a rematch of last year's NEC championship game.

> > Edinboro's Clint Nicholson saw his consecutive free-throw streak snapped at 32 in the Fighting Scots' loss to No. 10 IUP last week. The senior guard was six shy of the school record. He is shooting 85.5 percent from the line this season, seventh best in the PSAC.

District Schedule


No. 19 Georgetown at West Virginia

When/where: 7 p.m. Tuesday/WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, W. Va.

On air:

Records: Georgetown 15-5, 4-3 Big East; West Virginia 14-5, 4-2.

Series: Georgetown leads, 12-9

Of note: Georgetown is 3-0 in Big East road games this season.

Players to watch

Georgetown: Sugar Rodgers, Jr., G — The all-Big East selection is averaging a league-best 20 points per game.

West Virginia: Christal Caldwell, So., G — The Florida transfer posted her first career double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds at Pitt on Saturday.

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