RMU men's basketball trounces D-II Mansfield in exhibition
It's only one game, an exhibition at that, but some of Robert Morris' new players acquitted themselves well Tuesday against Mansfield.
Guards Rodney Pryor, Marcquise Reed and Jafar Kinsey each showed flashes as Robert Morris defeated Division II Mansfield of the PSAC, 75-49, at Sewall Center.
Pryor shined most. He and senior Lucky Jones scored 20 points each for the Colonials, who open the regular season Nov. 14 against Lafayette.
The 6-foot-5 Pryor also had a team-high eight rebounds and five steals. This performance came from someone who hasn't played a game in 2 1⁄2 seasons.
The 2011 Notre Dame Prep grad from Niles, Ill., spent one season at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa — where he played in a few games — before transferring to Cloud County Community College in Kansas. Preseason foot and knee injuries kept Pryor from playing at Cloud County.
“It's a true blessing to be out there with these guys,” Pryor said. “The fact I haven't played basketball in two-and-half years due to injuries, it's a blessing to be a Division I basketball player.
“When I saw that first shot go in, every time I caught the ball, I was ready. I made sure I made extra passes to keep the defense honest. But when I get a good look at the basket, I feel I can make it every single time.”
Robert Morris coach Andy Toole knows replacing Northeast Conference Player of the Year Karvel Anderson nearly is impossible, but Pryor showed he's capable of picking up the slack by going 6 for 8 from 3-point range. He hit three 3-pointers in the first half and had 11 points to help Robert Morris to a 39-24 lead. His 3-pointer with 11:06 left gave Robert Morris a 50-39 lead and ignited an 11-0 run to turn the game into a rout.
“I don't know if Rodney will go 6 for 8 (from 3-point range) every night, but he's capable of knocking down shots,” Toole said. “That's why we recruited him. He has great size and a high release; he can shoot when he's guarded. He shot the ball with confidence.”
Jones said what Pryor did wasn't a surprise. He has seen it at practice numerous times.
“I tell him to keep shooting it if he gets the opportunity,” Jones said. “That's what he did. I'm proud of him, especially what he's been through.”
Toole said he saw a lot of positive things during the game.
“There are some things we need to continue to improve on,” Toole said. “It was a positive step for us. Everybody did a lot of good things and I think they had fun, which was nice. It was good to get the new guys on the court, in a game, to see what it's like in college.”
Robert Morris shot 44.4 percent from the field, and Pryor finished 7 for 9. Reed added eight points and four assists, and Kinsey had seven points. The Colonials forced 20 turnovers, which turned into 29 points.
Charles Pemberton led Mansfield with 13 points.
Robert Morris junior forward Aaron Tate sat out because is serving a suspension for violating a team rule. Toole didn't say the length of the suspension. Also missing the game with illnesses were freshman forward Elijah Minnie and senior guard Charles Oliver.