CHICAGO — On Saturday evening, the Robert Morris men’s basketball team fell to UIC for the second straight night by a score of 66-62 in overtime.
After a back-and-forth game throughout regulation, RMU and UIC headed into overtime all tied up at 56.
In the extra period, UIC’s Rob Howard scored four straight points inside to give the Flames a lead they would never let go of. RMU’s Dante Treacy, Cam Wilbon, and AJ Bramah were the only Colonials to score in overtime, and after a pair of missed free throws by Treacy with 8.7 seconds remaining, UIC sealed the victory.
“We fought, we fought like crazy,” RMU head coach Andy Toole told Pittsburgh Sports Now after the game. “I am really, really proud of our guys’ effort, the way they fought. UIC has great length, great size, they hurt us in the paint, on the back boards a little bit. But our guys fought. We gave ourselves chances, we had some opportunities that we did not take advantage of, and that is certainly a frustrating thing because the guys played hard enough to win the game but we’ve got to be a little bit smarter. We’ve got to be a little bit more detailed in stuff and that would have given us a win.”
The Colonials were led by the California native Bramah, as he once again delivered an impressive performance, scoring 23 points on 11-for-14 shooting and grabbing a game high 16 rebounds, good for his third straight double-double and 11th of his career.
UIC was led by Howard, Teyvion Kirk, and Maurice Commander, who scored 18, 15, and 15 points, respectively.
A main factor in the loss Friday was the play of UIC bigs Michael Diggins and Braelen Bridges, who combined to score 27 that game. After that game, Toole emphasized that in order for the Colonials to come out on top in the second matchup, they would need to stop those two on the inside.
On Saturday, Toole attempted to neutralize them by guarding them with freshman Pat Suemnick and senior Charles Bain. The two led a group of Colonials that held the two to only 13 combined points on Saturday.
“I just think we were incredibly urgent,” Toole added. “I thought we had some urgency down there. Our guards did a good job of not allowing them to be as comfortable. But, it’s hard because they have so many guys that can hurt you. That is what makes them a good team.”
Coming into tonight’s game, Suemnick was a role player and had only been averaging 7.8 minutes per game. The 6-foot-8 Green Bay native played nine minutes in tonight’s game, scoring four points including two thunderous dunks in the first half. However, he had racked up four fouls by early in the second half, forcing Toole to sit him on the bench.
“I think he played pretty well,” Toole said about the freshman’s performance. “We would’ve liked to play him more but he got in foul trouble. It’s hard because he is trying to learn as a freshman. He was, I thought, productive, and he was at least a body that we could throw up against Braelen Bridges.”
RMU (3-5, 2-3 in Horizon) will travel back home for its next game to host Northern Kentucky on Jan. 22, with tip off set for 7 p.m.