RMU Men’s Basketball: Four Stars Of The Game Advance Colonials To NEC Championship Game


Robert Morris University men’s basketball squad is only one victory away from going to the NCAA Big Dance. The Colonials defeated the Bryant University Bulldogs Saturday 66-53 in the second round of the Northeast Conference tournament. The match-up was held at the Charles L. Sewall Center.

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RMU elevated their record to 18-14 overall while achieving a 12-6 mark in the NEC during the regular season, The Colonials came into Saturday’s meeting as the No. 2 seed while Bryant was the No. 3 seed. The Bulldogs closed out their campaign 16-15 overall and 12-6 in conference action.

Robert Morris and Bryant were knotted up 48-48 with 8:11 remaining on the clock when the RMU offense fired up the next 11 points of the contest to move ahead 59-48. They finished the afternoon with a 13-point margin of victory.

The charge to take back the scoreboard began with a three-pointer from sophomore guard Kavon Stewart. That was followed by four points from senior forward Lucky Jones. The final push came when both junior forward Stephan Bennett and junior guard Rodney Pryor connected on their jump shots.

RMU owned a 33 to 29 advantage on the boards and obtained 22 points on turnovers to the Bulldogs seven. The Robert Morris defense clamped down as they held Bryant 2-of-7 shooting in the concluding seven and a-half minutes of the game.

Let’s check out the four players that helped the Colonials win their fifth straight and move the team forward to the NEC Championship Game.

1) Stewart established career highs in points with 19 and steals with seven on the score sheet. The 6-foot, 190-pound Paterson, NJ native also had eight assists on the day and went 5-for-6 at the free-throw line.

2) Pryor was the second leading scorer with 12 points. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard from Evanston, Illinois contributed two assists, a blocked shot and a steal. He left the game midway through the first half with a troublesome right knee, but came back in the second half to help with the offensive surge.

3) Jones added 11 points off the bench to the final tally. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound senior from Newark, NJ chipped in three steals and two assists.

4) Freshman forward Elijah Minnie led the club with nine rebounds and also had three steals. The first-year player from Monessen, Penna. had eight points in 27 minutes.

“A terrific game,” head coach Andrew Toole said on rmucolonials.com. “We had great energy to start the game. We knew Bryant was going to stick with their game plan and make a run, and that’s exactly what they did. Our energy and intensity on defense picked up late in the second half, and for maybe the first time all season that really fed our offense.”

Kavon Stewart had this to say on Twitter…

For the Bulldogs, senior guard Dyami Starks recorded a game-high 19 points in 39 minutes. Redshirt freshman Bosko Kostur was next with 10 points while sophomore forward Dan Garvin and junior guard Shane McLaughlin tied for the team lead with eight rebounds apiece.


Up Next: Robert Morris hits the road for the NEC Championship Game Tuesday, March 10 against the No.1-seed St. Francis Brooklyn. The Terriers advanced Saturday to the championship contest after they downed the Saint Francis (Penna) Red Flash 62-48 at the Pope Physical Education Center.

The Colonials are 7-8 on the road this season while the Terriers are 13-3 at home. The tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

From The Clipboard: It marks the sixth time in the last seven years that the Colonials have advanced to the NEC title game…Freshman guard Marcquise Reed also had eight points…Attendance at the Chuck was 839… The officials were Jim Bruno, Lionel Butler and James Ostwalt.

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