MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – It was a lot closer than one might have imagined, but Robert Morris ultimately ended its first NEC tournament game in the UPMC Events Center in the win column.
The top-seeded Colonials held on to defeat No. 8 St. Francis Brooklyn, 59-58, in the quarterfinals Wednesday thanks in large part to AJ Bramah, who scored 14 of his 22 total points throughout a razor thin second half. St. Francis Brooklyn guard Larry Moreno’s potential game-winning layup rimmed out with one second left to give the Colonials the win.
— mike vukovcan (@mvukovcan) March 5, 2020
Robert Morris’ defense stifled St. Francis Brooklyn in the beginning stages of the game. The Terriers committed 12 turnovers within the first 10 minutes of play – six of which came on Robert Morris steals – as the Colonials raced out to an early eight-point lead. They led by as much as 14 points with 3:31 left in the first half, but the Terriers ended the half on an 11-2 run, capped by a buzzer-beating halfcourt heave from Chauncey Hawkins that hit nothing but net.
Robert Morris extended its lead to 39-33 early in the second half, but couldn’t fully put St. Francis Brooklyn away. And it came back to hurt them. As the Colonials shooters went cold, the Terriers stormed back and garnered their first lead with eight minutes left before the back-and-forth affair ended in Robert Morris’ favor.
Aside from Bramah, Williams finished with 11 points and five rebounds while Yannis Mendy added nine. Dante Treacy and Charles Bain each scored seven.
Robert Morris will face LIU Brooklyn on Saturday in the NEC tournament semifinals.