Robert Morris hits the road for key two-game swing
When the Robert Morris team bus returns to the Moon campus sometime early Sunday morning, the Colonials will have a good idea how close — or far — they are from their second Northeast Conference regular-season title in the past five years.
Not only do the Colonials have 407 miles ahead of them as they began their journey Wednesday afternoon from Moon to Emmitsburg, Md., to Loretto and home again, but they have two big opportunities to stake a solid claim to first place.
Robert Morris (13-12, 8-4) enters the road trip to Mount St. Mary’s on Thursday and St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday tied with St. Francis for first place.
First up is last-place Mount St. Mary’s (6-19, 3-9), a team Robert Morris defeated, 62-59, on Jan. 5. Mount St. Mary’s went on to lose seven of its next 10 games, but that night, the Colonials needed four points from Josh Wiliams in the final 13 seconds to win.
Prior to facing St. Francis, Robert Morris was on a four-game winning streak. But St. Francis’ Jamaal King (23 points), Isaiah Blackmon (20) and Keith Braxton (19) combined to score 62 points in a 76-73 victory. Robert Morris has lost three of its past four games.
Four of the Colonials’ final six games are on the road. But that’s more than enough time for senior guard Matty McConnell (Chartiers Valley) to wedge his way into the Robert Morris record books.
With 1,027 career points and 478 rebounds, McConnell (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) is on the edge of becoming the 14th 1,000-500 player in school history. He also has 222 career steals while leading the NEC this season with an average of 1.9 per game.
One milestone McConnell is sure to reach: When he steps on the court for the start of the game, he will become the ninth player in program history to appear in at least 120 games. If he earns his 111th start, he will move into third place all-time, passing Tony Lee (2004-08) and Forest Grant (1980-84).
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .