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Robert Morris

After hot start, Robert Morris tries to address losing streak

Jerry DiPaola
| Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, 2:24 p.m.

Robert Morris' losing streak in the final three games of its recent four-game homestand is puzzling.

What happened?

Coach Andy Toole gave a clue after the 73-67 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson (8-15, 5-7) on Saturday.

The Colonials (13-12, 7-5 Northeast Conference) were 6-7 outside the NEC, including a victory against Duquesne and losses to No. 17 Ohio State and N.C. State. Then, they won six of seven before losing four of the past five.

“We didn't come out with good urgency offensively in the first half and that really hurt us,” Toole said. “The inability to rebound the ball really was key. There were a number of balls that we didn't give the right effort on or had in our hand and lost. They scored on almost all of those possessions.”

Robert Morris is playing this season without its accustomed home-court advantage while the UPMC Events Center, which won't be ready until January 2019, is being constructed on the Moon campus.

The Colonials are 5-5 in “home” games, eight at PPG Paints Arena (4-4) and two (1-1) at Duquesne's Palumbo Center.

That's an excuse Toole won't make — he's too smart and too demanding of his players — but the last time Robert Morris went to the NCAA Tournament (2014-15), the Colonials led into it with a five-game home winning streak.

Heading into their two-game road trip to Brooklyn, N.Y., to play St. Francis and Long Island on Thursday and Saturday, Robert Morris is led in scoring by sophomore guard Dachon Burke (16.4 points per game), freshman forward Koby Thomas (12.9) and junior guard Matty McConnell (10.2) of Chartiers Valley.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.comor via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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