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Robert Morris Basketball

RMU Powers Past Merrimack to Start 2-0 in NEC Play



Josh Williams scored 17 points as one of five Colonials in double figures as Robert Morris pulled away late to beat Merrimack, 69-58 on Saturday to improve to 2-0 in Northeastern Conference play this season.

Williams scored 15 points from beyond the 3-point line, going 5 of 7 from the arc. He shot 6 of 14 (42.8%) overall on the evening. He scored in double figures for the fifth consecutive game.

AJ Bramah came off the bench and did the heavy lifting inside. He scored 16 points on 6 of 10 from the floor and also cleaned up eight rebounds. Yannis Mendy also had eight boards to go along with 10 points and the Colonials out-rebounded the Warriors, 32-28.

Guards Jalen Hakwins (12) and Dante Treacy (10) also cracked doubled figures for the Colonials.

The game was tight, with Robert Morris leading 36-35 with just over 15 minutes to play in the second half when the Colonials went on an 11-2 run that was powered by 3-pointers from Williams and Hawkins and solid rebounding by Bramah and Mendy.

“It takes you a little while to figure out their zone because they get you off the line so quickly,” RMU head coach Andy Toole said. “We did a much better job in the second half playing the game at our pace. I really thought Dante got us going by generating some energy, and our guys all fed off that. We were able to get into the paint and penetrate at the rim and, most importantly, impose our will in the second half. By making them uncomfortable and speeding them up, I really thought that galvanized us offensively.”

It was the first game between Robert Morris and Merrimack (7-8). The Warriors recently made the jump from Division II and are playing their first season in the NEC.

The Colonials, now 6-9, are 2-0 to start conference play for the second straight season. They’ll host Saint Francis Brooklyn on Thursday for their first home conference game at UPMC Events Center.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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