A Kennywood or Cedar Point roller coaster does not have as many twists and turns as the 2021-22 Robert Morris men’s basketball season.
The Colonials rode back into the regular-season station on the road against Wright State.
RMU started out strong on a high but reached another low in the second half. Already with a first-round bye entering the Horizon League Tournament, Wright State (18-13, 15-7 Horizon League) kicked into high gear down the stretch to defeat RMU (7-24, 5-16) by double digits 71-61.
The Raiders and Colonials traded baskets throughout the first 17 minutes of action.
Wright State remained ahead until three minutes left in the first half. The team squeaked by RMU 75-73 on Jan. 13 at the UPMC Events Center when they first met.
A Kahliel Spear dunk gave RMU a 28-27 lead that built to 32-29 at the break.
RMU played decently in the first half, shooting 48.3% and making 2-of-5 triples. Andy Toole’s team also registered six steals.
Wright State displayed a sloppy half full of missed chances and turnovers.
Turning the ball over 10 times, the Raiders hurt themselves and never garnered a large enough lead to keep RMU out of striking distance.
Entering the night 4th in the Horizon League, Wright State made 46.2% of shots and missed 5-of-7 three pointers.
Brandon Stone guided RMU totaling a game-high nine points after 20 minutes, followed by seven from Jaron Williams and six for Kahliel Spear.
Seven points apiece scored by Grant Basile and AJ Braun led Wright State. Cleaning up their play and forcing RMU into inopportune situations was a major key to Wright State’s turnaround.
The home team would not be denied.
Wright State fought back to take a 44-43 advantage nearing 12 minutes left and never looked back.
An 11-0 run suffocated RMU’s attack and created an uphill battle to win the final regular season game.
Turnovers crushed the Colonials during the run and gave the Raiders a boost when RMU began to waver.
The Raiders maintained a steady lead floating around 10 points the remainder of regulation en route to victory.
Spear paced RMU with 14 points and Williams and Stone both chipped in 13 apiece.
Wright State outscored RMU 42-29 in the final 20 minutes despite shooting 13-for-19 (68.4%) from the free throw line.
The Raiders lead grew to as much as 13 and brought down four additional rebounds. A 47.3% mark from the floor by RMU was matched at 51% from victorious Wright State.
Basile was up to his usual ways and played a significant role the entire night scoring a game-high 20 points.
Trey Calvin (18) and Tanner Holden (16) added two additional scorers over 15 points. Basile and Holden also added eight rebounds each.
Robert Morris will face Youngstown State on the road Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.