Winning isn’t always easy or pretty which was the case today for the Robert Morris men’s basketball team.
Despite shooting only 41% from the field, 28% (7-25) from 3-point range and only 60% (15-25) from the free throw line, Andy Toole’s team was able to make shots and get defensive stops when they needed to and pulled out a 64-57 win over Central Connecticut at the UPMC Events Center.
Robert Morris improves to 12-11 overall and 8-2 in the Northeast Conference. It’s the first time this season that the Colonials record is over .500 as they’ve won 8 out of their last 10 games.
Things looked a little dicey for Robert Morris as the Blue Devils (2-22, 1-10) took a 32-27 early in the second half but the Colonials went on a 11-0 run highlighted by a three-pointer from senior Josh Williams that tied the game followed by another three from his brother, Jon, which gave Robert Morris the lead back.
Central Connecticut then went on a 7-0 of their own to grab a 42-41 lead but RMU senior guard Sayveon McEwen knocked down a jumper to give them the lead back and they wouldn’t trail the rest of the game.
“Very fortunate to get the win,” said Robert Morris head coach Andy Toole. “I thought our defense throughout the game was really good. Offensively, we looked a little disjointed and out of place. Again, our defense and rebounding led to the victory.”
It was a balanced offensive attack for Toole’s team as junior forward AJ Bramah and senior forward Yannis Mendy paced the Colonials with 11 points each. Bramah registered his third consecutive double-double as he collected 14 rebounds to go with his 11 points. Sophomore guard Jalen Hawkins, junior guard Jon Williams and McEwen each added nine points.
Speaking of Williams, he set a Robert Morris record with his 91st consecutive start which broke the previous mark set by Tony Lee (2004-08) and AJ Jackson (2003-08).
“It’s a tribute to his consistency and how he works,” said Toole. He’s a guy who sometimes goes under the radar because his stats don’t always wow you. He’s just doing all the right stuff. For coaches, those are the guys that help you sleep at night. You know that every decision he makes is with the best intention of the team involved. He’s one of the most coachable guys and is as mature a guy we’ve had in the program, and he’s been that way since day one.”
Robert Morris has four days off until they start a 3-game road trip starting Thursday, Feb 6 against Wagner.