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Robert Morris Basketball

Colonials Win Fourth Straight, Beat LIU Brooklyn



PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Robert Morris won its fourth straight game and remained unbeaten in the NEC with an 88-79 victory over LIU Brooklyn Saturday at PPG Paints Arena.

The victory matched the Colonials’ longest winning streak of the season, and the 88 points scored were a season high.

A back-and-forth affair throughout, the contest featured nine ties and 21 lead changes. The Blackbirds took their final lead of the game, 62-61, with 9:07 remaining, but Kolby Thomas answered with a basket inside to put Robert Morris (10-7, 4-0 NEC) in front for good. The margin stretched to 70-64 moments later on Dachon Burke’s layup, capping a 9-2 scoring burst.

LIU Brooklyn (6-11, 1-3 NEC) cut the deficit to one at 72-71 with 3:35 remaining, only to see Robert Morris respond with four straight points from Thomas and Ronnie Gombe. Matty McConnell’s three-pointer with 1:34 left upped the score to 79-72, and Thomas’ and-one play with just under a minute to play put the finishing touches on the win.

Robert Morris scored a season-high 42 points in the paint, and its 50-point performance in the second half was its largest scoring output in a half this year.

Koby Thomas (10) November 19, 2017 — DAVID HAGUE/PSN

The Colonials are 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 2013-14 and just four wins shy of their total from a year.

Thomas scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, and McConnell scored nine of the team’s final 12 points. He finished with 15 after scoring just two in the opening half.

The game was tied at 38 at the break after the Blackbirds led by as much as seven in the opening period.

The Colonials won despite allowing LIU Brooklyn to shoot 51 percent from the field and score 23 points off 14 Robert Morris turnovers.

Burke scored a team-high 20 points and added six rebounds, three steals and two assists. In addition to Burke, Thomas, and McConnell scoring in double-figures, Leondre Washington poured in 12 points and Jon Williams chipped in with 11.

Robert Morris concludes its three-game homestand Thursday with a 7 p.m. contest against St. Francis U at PPG Paints Arena.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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