No. 8 seed Robert Morris hits road for NEC Tournament
Robert Morris must become road warriors if it wants to make a repeat trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Colonials (10-21) finished eighth in the Northeast Conference and must win three road games in the NEC Tournament to advance.
That may not be a bad thing since Robert Morris was 5-4 in the conference on the road this season compared to 3-6 at home.
Robert Morris will play top-seeded Wagner at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Staten Island, N.Y. Wagner defeated RMU, 62-54, on Saturday and 72-69, on Jan. 4. The higher seeds are the host throughout the NEC Tournament. Since 1982, the No. 1 seed is 32-0 in its opening-round game.
“It's actually sad what our home record is (4-8 overall), and it comes from immaturity,” RMU coach Andy Toole said. “When you're on the road, there are fewer fans and fewer distractions. You can concentrate on your scouting report and concentrate on the team. I don't think we're a very mature team, especially at home.”
Toole said Wagner (20-9) is “the most consistent team in the league.”
Wagner, which has won five consecutive games, is led by Michael Carey, who had 23 points and 17 rebounds Saturday.
“We did good things in both games against them,” Toole said. “Unfortunately, we didn't rebound or take care of the ball as we needed to. Those were the two biggest things that hurt us in both games.”
Robert Morris freshman Isaiah Still came off the bench to score 15 points, and senior Rodney Pryor, named first-team all-conference Tuesday, had his eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds Saturday. Junior point guard Kavon Stewart had 23 points in their first meeting.
“You don't want to go into the postseason down or sad on yourself because of the poor regular season, but we caused a lot of wounds,” Pryor said. “We should be better prepared for them now that we just played.
“Me personally, I like playing on the road better, playing in front of other people's crowds. There is more energy in the gym versus here. Not as many fans turn out here.”