Robert Morris' season ends with quarterfinal loss in NEC Tournament
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A struggling Robert Morris season ended in more frustration Thursday with a 59-50 loss to Wagner in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast Conference.
The No. 8 seed Colonials (10-22), reigning NEC champions, battled back from a 14-point second-half deficit to tie the score at 42-42 on a driving three-point play from freshman Isaiah Still with 5:50 remaining.
But RMU turned the ball over on the following two possessions, and the Seahawks (21-9, 13-5) went on an 11-2 run over four minutes to advance to Saturday's semifinals, where they will face No. 6 seed LIU Brooklyn.
“I think that deflated us a little,” RMU high scorer Isaiah Still (13 points) said of the turnover sequence. “It shouldn't have. You have to keep playing. But maybe it did a little.”
The Colonials overcame a first half when they shot 4 of 17 (24 percent) from the floor, trailing 24-19 at the break.
And they didn't cave, either, when Wagner opened the second half with a 12-3 run to surge to a 36-22 lead.
Instead, RMU responded in a hurry.
Senior NEC first-teamer Rodney Pryor (10 points) scored seven of the next nine Colonial points to cut the Wagner advantage to 38-31.
And Still, a 6-foot-6 freshman, completed the Colonials' long climb back with a three-point play during which he was fouled by Henry Brooks.
The free throw with 5 minutes, 50 seconds remaining tied the score at 42-42.
“The guys battled, and I respect the way they worked out there,” sixth-year RMU coach Andy Toole said of the rally. “We gave ourselves a real shot to beat a No. 1 seed.”
Cormac Gordon is a freelancer writer.