The Robert Morris men’s basketball team took the floor Monday night in Athens, Ohio looking to make third times the charm to begin the season, but fell victim to similar results.
Dropping it’s first two games of the year to UCF and Kentucky, RMU battled but lost to Ohio University 85-71 to close out the opening season road trip.
The Colonials (0-3) started out playing a cleaner and more team oriented game the first 10 minutes, but the Bobcats (3-0) found ways to respond at every turn.
Tied 12-12 and a timeout on the floor at the 11:39 mark, Robert Morris picked up the past early but faltered late.
Ohio began to work its offense slightly more successfully as scoring picked up for both teams leading into the next timeout with 7:18 left in the first half and the Bobcats leading 23-20.
The team’s were also shooting similarly throughout the first half from the field, hovering around 40-47% despite Ohio significantly leading from behind the arc.
A Jason Carter put-back slam at the 3:48 mark of the first half was enough for Andy Toole to call timeout trailing by nine 33-24.
RMU missed six of its last seven from downtown and trailed by the same margin halftime. Ohio took a 39-31 lead after 20 minutes of play into the break despite nearly the same field-goal percentage as Robert Morris, just over 45%.
The Colonials shot a little more than 22% from three and was led by Jaron Williams’ 11 points and four rebounds on 5-7 shooting.
Ben Vander Plas and Jason Carter sparked the Bobcats, scoring in double figures at 11 and 10 points, respectively, while also being the squad’s top-two rebounders.
Robert Morris failed to properly take care of the ball into the second half, allowing Ohio to take advantage on the offensive end.
The Bobcats still controlled a 10-point advantage with 15:38 to go and a timeout on the floor, but the Colonials showed signs of growth and development.
An experienced group of players but inexperienced playing together, Robert Morris flashed positive signs throughout the night but could not overcome the cross-state trip and Ohio offensive playmakers.
Vander Plas continued to pile it on RMU and heated up halfway through the second half, slamming another energetic dunk resulting in a Colonial timeout with the lead growing to 14 at 57-43 Ohio.
RMU chipped away as the 12-minute mark approached, cutting the lead to single digits as Kahliel Spear and Justin Winston found their stride.
Ohio pulled away for good 72-57 inside seven minutes left thanks to a 10-2 run and remained in control the entire way.
The Bobcats closed the book on a 14-point win thanks to double-doubles from Carter (18 points and 11 rebounds) and Vander Plas (17 points and 11 rebounds.
Spear led all players with 22 points and 19 from Williams. RMU outshot Ohio with just over a 49% clip from the field and 35% behind the arc, but struggled taking care of the ball resulting in 16 total turnovers.
RMU remains winless, but will return to the UPMC Events Center for the first time this season facing former NEC foe Mount St. Mary’s Friday at 7 p.m.