RMU gets Lucky vs. Providence
Robert Morris is returning to the site of arguably its most heartbreaking postseason loss.
The Colonials, fresh off their 59-57 upset victory against defending national champion Kentucky, will play Providence at 7 p.m. Monday at Dunkin' Donuts Center in a second-round NIT matchup.
The Friars defeated Charlotte, 75-66, Wednesday night.
Robert Morris (24-10) lost an NCAA first-round nail-biter to Villanova in 2010 at Dunkin' Donuts Center.
The Colonials will have guard/forward Lucky Jones for their matchup against Providence.
Jones was ejected late in the game against Kentucky after a flagrant foul but will not be suspended for Monday's game. He scored 15 points against the Wildcats.
The Colonials returned to practice Thursday after being off Wednesday.
After coach Andrew Toole pleaded with his team for most of the season to play the “Robert Morris Way,” the Colonials picked an ideal time to heed his words.
Toole noted two plays Karvel Anderson made in the first half and a charge Keith Armstrong took in the second half as examples.
Anderson's plays came in the final 1:30 of the half when he tipped a rebound away from 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein that Robert Morris retrieved. Later, he pinned the ball on the floor, preventing Kentucky from getting off a last-second shot.
“There were a ton of plays we made during the game that helped us pull off the victory,” Toole said. “Maybe that was the difference in the game when you really break it down. That's what we celebrate as a team and a coaching staff. We jump up and down for guys who dive on loose balls, take charges and follow the details of the game and follow our formula, not for guys making shots. You're supposed to make shots.”
Toole said he was proud of the poise and confidence with which his team played.
“Once they got into the facility and saw how many people were at the game two hours in advance and got over that, I think it became a game,” Toole said. “When we were in the locker room before the game and going through warm-ups, the guys were engaged and focused. There was no goofing around or not paying attention to what was going on.
“The way we started offensively with Anthony (Myers-Pate) making that shot and building that lead, it really settled us down. It proved to our guys that if we do what we work on and are detailed, we're going to be able to get good things.”