Robert Morris rallies past conference foe St. Francis (Pa.) on road
College Football Videos
LORETTO — If the Robert Morris men's basketball team wants to play at least one home game in the Northeast Conference playoffs, then it must find a way to be more consistent down the stretch.
That started Wednesday night against St. Francis (Pa.) in round one of rivalry week in the NEC. The Colonials (18-8, 9-4) used a big second-half rally and held on to defeat St. Francis (5-19, 4-9), 78-74, at DeGol Arena.
It was the Colonials' eighth consecutive victory in the series and eighth consecutive victory at St. Francis. The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday to conclude rivalry week.
Over the past few weeks, Robert Morris coach Andy Toole has been preaching consistency, especially on defense. He got that during the final 10 minutes of the team's last game at Mt. St. Mary's, and he was hoping to get the same last night.
It didn't happen during the first 18 minutes of the game. St. Francis shot 68.4 percent from the field and opened a 35-24 lead and settled for a 35-30 lead at halftime.
But the Colonials turned things around over the next 11 minutes, as they went on a 32-10 run to grab a 56-45 lead with 11:15 left.
The Colonials' defense keyed the big run. On four consecutive St. Francis possessions , Robert Morris came up with steals and layups to open the lead.
"The object is to win the game, and we found a way," Toole said. "The defense still allowed them to shoot 61 percent. Sure, they made some tough shots, but our energy level was not good."
Robert Morris was leading, 67-57, with 5:45 left before St. Francis made one final run. The Red Flash kept pecking away at the Colonials' lead. But each time they'd get close, the Colonials would make shots.
Coron Williams, who finished with 13 points, hit a 3-pointer and later hit two clutch free throws with 7.8 seconds left to seal the victory. Velton Jones, who didn't score in the first half, made two big free throws with 15.1 seconds left. Jones, who was playing with a mask after breaking his nose last week at Wagner, scored eight points and had eight assists.
"It was the first time he wore it in a game," Toole said. "It affected his shooting. He still made some great decisions when they collapsed on him the paint."
Mike McFadden, who scored the Colonials' first seven points of the game, and Lucky Jones each scored 14 points.
St. Francis coach Don Friday was disappointed with the loss, mainly because his team committed 17 turnovers.
"Stupid loses more games than smart wins," Friday said. "We have to grow up. During crunch time, we didn't match their intensity. We have to develop that. We backed off."
Anthony Ervin led St. Francis with 20 points, 15 in the second half. Freshman guard Stephon Whyatt scored 11 points in the opening half and finished with 15 points, while Scott Eatherton had 10.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Va. State will test Cal U’s defense
- Different concerns for Salvino
- Child sex case continued
- Merger of Mon Valley Councils of Governments delayed until Oct. 1
- Steelers laud decision, praise Brady for taking on Goodell
- With most starters resting, Steelers turn in lackluster loss at Heinz
- Operator should have waited after ATV, train collision, Perry Township chief contends
- Directors to view Southmoreland High upgrades
- Experts warn Kane’s Haiti trip might jeopardize any case from 2014 wiretap
- Repairs on Adelaide Road set to begin
- Through the years: Armstrong Central opened with victory in 1990