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Right back to work at Robert Morris after setback

Monday, Jan. 30, 2012

If nothing else, the Robert Morris men's team knows this: Don't mess with the coach.

After the Colonials' four-game winning streak ended Saturday night with an 81-68 loss to St. Francis (N.Y.), coach Andrew Toole didn't send his players off to have dinner with family and friends or to look for the best campus party.

He told them to meet him in the film room to review the game. Players and coach watched a replay until about midnight.

Were they cool with it?

"They didn't have a choice," Toole said.

Toole wanted his players to see their mistakes while they were fresh in their minds. The Colonials are playing well but still showing some immaturity, Toole said. "It's not a question of us playing good basketball; it's a question of us being able to sustain good basketball."

The Colonials are 16-7 and have the second-most victories in the Northeast Conference, but their 7-3 league record is only good for fourth place — even after giving first-place Long Island its only conference loss Thursday.

"We had slow feet and a slow brain," Toole said of the St. Francis loss. "You have to bring focus and concentration to practice every day. When we prepared for Long Island, they had the focus. We'd ask them questions about what LIU was going to run, and they were like little kids raising their hands with the answers. When we prepared for St. Francis on Saturday, they were running into each other. I knew it was going to be a hard night."

> > Jim O'Brien, who has spent more than 50 years writing about basketball and other sports, received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Basketball Club. O'Brien served on the nominating committee for the Basketball Hall of Fame, leading to the induction of Pittsburgh figures Jack Twyman (Central Catholic), Red Mihalik (Ford City), Chuck Cooper (Westinghouse High School and Duquesne) and Connie Hawkins.

District schedule


Long Island at Robert Morris

When/where: 7 p.m. Monday/Sewall Center

Records: Long Island 15-6, 4-5 NEC; Robert Morris 10-10, 4-5

Series: Robert Morris leads, 35-16

Of note: Robert Morris has lost five of six but is 9-1 in its past 10 against Long Island.

Players to watch

Robert Morris: Mary Durojaye Sr., F — Has started all 20 games while averaging 13.2 points and 8.8 rebounds.

Long Island: Ashley Palmer, Sr., F — Leads the Blackbirds in scoring (19.3) and rebounding (8.3).




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