MOON TWP., Pa. — The Robert Morris men’s basketball team returned home to the confines of the UPMC Events Center for only the second time this season still looking for their first win of 2021-22.
Tonight was finally the night.
The Colonials (1-7, 0-2) came out of the gates in a high 3-2 zone against Lancaster Bible (4-3) as the Chargers attempted a large majority of its shots from behind the arc in the early going, especially from the corners.
The two teams also picked up full court defensively, not suffocating each other’s ability to cleanly bring the ball up the floor.
Robert Morris was without impact forwards Brandon Stone and Jaron Williams but had no problem blowing out the opposition.
RMU took an 8-5 lead into the first media timeout with 14:35 remaining in the first half. Lancaster Bible had already attempted six three-pointers, only sinking one of them.
Enoch Cheeks joined the threes party for RMU’s first made triple as the Colonials began to find their footing against the Chargers’ attack. The lead grew to eight as RMU was ahead 18-10 at the under 12 timeout. Spear led the way with six points and Cheeks was not far behind with five.
RMU’s active hands and defensive pressure smothered Lancaster Bible, especially in the paint.
Matt Mayers was impressive off the bench in the first 10 minutes with both four points and rebounds in five minutes of action.
Lancaster Bible failed to adapt to Andy Toole’s decision to play zone over man and was forced to take bad shots that sunk them deeper in a hole.
A Farris three-pointer continued to push the deficit, reaching 19 and a 29-10 advantage before a Chargers three and Spear dunk took action to the under eight timeout.
Farris and Spear continued to be difference makers on both ends of the floor in RMU’s only second home game. The Colonials continued with a comfortable lead, much like against Mount St. Mary’s in the home opener, taking a 36-16 score to the under four timeout.
Lancaster Bible lacks the physical play needed to compete against a desperate Colonials team as RMU continuously found open looks from behind the arc and in driving lanes, setting up successful free throw attempts as well.
RMU’s ball movement was one of the smoothest performances of the early season. After a quick fast-break layup Toole called timeout with a sizable 23-point lead.
Spear and Farris were both on full display in the final minute. Spear finished an alley-oop and Farris knocked down a three on the next two possessions, the last one to beat the buzzer, to grow RMU’s advantage to 30 and an impressive 54-24 score after 20 minutes.
Robert Morris shot an eye-popping 68% and made 6-10 attempts from downtown. The Colonials also dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Chargers 23-10 in the first half. Farris led all scorers with 14 points and Spear followed closely behind in double figures with 12.
On the other hand, Lancaster Bible shot only 29% from the field and 6-21 (28.6%) from three.
Jordan Shewbridge was the lone bright spot offensively, scoring half of the Chargers points with 12.
The three-pointers continued to rain down in the second half, especially from Cheeks, hitting two straight to begin the second half. The three-point competition was the main theme of the evening as Farris shot the lights out.
An insurmountable 41-point lead faced Lancaster Bible with 14:53 remaining down 74-33. RMU continued the pressure and never took their foot off the gas.
RMU made it 82-38 with 10:51 remaining and continued to put the game out of reach. The home team continued to play starters like Dunn, Karris, Justin Winston, and others en route to an 85-43 score with under eight minutes to go.
Robert Morris held a 50-point lead at the final media timeout winning 95-45, finishing off Lancaster Bible 99-51 for the program’s first win of the year coming in non-conference action.
Farris was the most impressive player on the floor in his second start of the year, compiling a game-high 27 points, shooting 7-10 from three, and being +44 overall while being on the court.
Five Colonials finished the game in double figures (Farris, Spear, Dunn, Winston, and Cheeks) and both Spear and Dunn recorded double-doubles. Spear recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds while Dunn totaled both 10 points and 10 assists.
The Colonials ended the night shooting at a 66% clip and 60% from downtown. RMU dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Chargers 47-22 and 37-11 on the defensive end.
Shewbridge guided Lancaster Bible with 22 points shooting as the team finished under 28% from the floor.
Robert Morris returns to action Saturday night hosting Florida Gulf Coast (8-3) at 7 p.m.