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Robert Morris faces Monmouth

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Monday, Jan. 8, 2001

Eighty is the magic number for the Robert Morris men's basketball team.

In only two victories this season, the Colonials have scored more than 80 points.

'Eighty seems like the magic formula,' Robert Morris coach Danny Nee said. 'We will keep trying to score like that. Right now, so many guys are contributing. I like to see that.'

Nee hopes his players will continue to make such contributions tonight.

Robert Morris plays Northeast Conference foe Monmouth at 7 p.m. at Boylan Gymnasium in West Long Branch, N.J. Robert Morris is going after two victories in a row.

Monmouth could put a quick end to that.

The Hawks have a solid offensive threat behind 6-foot, 185-pound junior guard Rahsaan Johnson's 18.5 points per game, and 6-5, 205-pound senior forward Gerry Crosby's 17 points per game.

Robert Morris is beginning to put up good numbers on offense, too.

The Colonials shot a season-high 60.4 percent from the field to defeat Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, doing so with a combined effort.

'We are pretty happy about that win,' Nee said. 'It was truly a team effort. We played good defense, shot well, and had several players make key plays in the game. We also had a lot of assists.'

It seems like the Colonials are finally starting to jell.

If so, the timing is perfect.

Robert Morris is in the heat of conference play. The Colonials, who are a young team, need to combine the strengths of each player if they are going to make it back to the NEC championship game.

On Saturday, the Colonials played like a championship team.

Junior transfer Eric Casey-Ford contributed a key block while senior guard Naron Jackson saved a possession by calling a timeout. Tyler Bacon added a much-needed layup in the second half, and Wesley Fluellend continued to dominate on offense, scoring a game-high 24 points.

But, maybe the biggest part of the win was that the freshmen played well.

'When Naron fouled out, (freshman) Liviti Clarke came in and played well,' Nee said. 'We used three true freshmen. I told them if we are going to continue to win we are going to need them.'

Nee said Saturday's victory was a pleasant surprise. The only thing he was a little disappointed in was that his players turned the ball over 25 times.

'It was a great win, especially since it was on the road,' Nee said. 'We hope to carry that over against Monmouth. The kids are in good spirits. We have to take it one game at a time. It seemed like our last victory before Fairleigh Dickinson was so long ago.'

It was.

Robert Morris defeated Sacred Heart 88-77 on Dec. 7.

Next up - Monmouth

  • Matchup: Robert Morris (2-12, 2-3 Northeast Conference) at Monmouth (7-5, 4-1 NEC)

  • When: 7 p.m.

  • Where: Boylan Gymnasium, West Long Branch, N.J.

  • Coaches: Danny Nee, Robert Morris (first year, 2-12); Dave Calloway, Monmouth (third year, 27-52)

    TV/Radio: WPIT-AM (730)

  • The skinny: Robert Morris forward Wesley Fluellen has scored a combined 50 points in the Colonials only two victories this season. ... The prior meeting between these teams this past season came down to overtime with Robert Morris winning its fifth consecutive overtime game, 66-59. ... Robert Morris center Matt Smith has started 50 consecutive games, the longest active streak among current players. ... Monmouth coach Dave Calloway is a Hawks' alumn, graduating in 1991.

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