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Robert Morris wins fourth-straight Northeast game

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Friday, Feb. 17, 2012

Robert Morris men's basketball coach Andy Toole wants his team to have fun in games.

The Colonials had a lot of fun Thursday night at the expense of woeful Bryant.

Robert Morris (20-8, 11-4) won its fourth consecutive Northeast Conference game, an easy 69-40 win over Bryant (2-25, 1-14).

Bryant had 25 turnovers and was 12 for 38 from the field. The Colonials scored 26 points off turnovers and outscored the Bulldogs, 22-2, on second-chance points.

The frustration also showed as they were assessed two technical fouls with 13 minutes left, the first on an assistant coach and the second on head coach Tim O'Shea, for disagreeing on a non-call.

"I want the team to have fun this time of the season," Toole said. "They're playing for a conference championship. I want them to enjoy it."

Toole was pleased with his team's effort Thursday night, especially defensively.

The score was tied, 10-10, midway through the first half when the Colonials took charge, going on a 14-4 run to open a 24-14 lead.

Lijah Thompson keyed the run by scoring nine of his 13 points in the first half, as the Colonials built a 31-19 lead at halftime.

"I just want to help the team when I come off the bench," Thompson said. "I just want to win."

Toole said he can't explain how important Thompson is to the team.

"We need him to be consistent," Toole said. "How he played is what he's capable of."

Thompson also had a team-high seven rebounds and a perfect night shooting (4 for 4 from the field and 5 for 5 from the foul line).

And if Bryant had any thoughts about a second-half comeback, the Colonials took care off that by scoring the first nine points of the second half to build a 40-21 lead.

Junior point guard Velton Jones led the Colonials with 19 points, and Lawrence Bridges added 10, which included a thunderous dunk with 4:50 left.

"It's about time he did something like that," Jones said. "He shocked me. This was a fun game. Early in the season, we were too uptight. We played old Robert Morris style defense (last night)."

The game was so lopsided that Toole was able to use every player. Freshman Lucky Jones, who is sidelined with a knee injury, was the only player not to see any game action.

The Colonials return to action Saturday night at Sewall Center against Central Connecticut State (11-14, 8-7), a team they lost to 68-53 on Jan. 7.

"We'll definitely be tested," Toole said. "I'm eager to see how we respond."

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