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Robert Morris Basketball

RMU Concludes Second Horizon League Season with 83-67 Loss at Cleveland State

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Robert Morris’ second Horizon League season has come to an end.

The No. 10 Colonials faced top-seeded Cleveland State Thursday night in the second round of the Horizon League Tournament and fell 83-67.

RMU defeated No. 7 Youngstown State 77-73 Tuesday night but controlled the entire first 37 minutes before the Penguins stormed back from a 20-point deficit and cut the lead. 

The Vikings began the night as 12-point favorites but did not play up to the part during the first portions of action.

Cleveland State did not display the same firepower during the first 10 minutes of play but both sides were affected by continued technical issues inside the Wolstein Center.

The scoreboard became dysfunctional as well as the shot clocks and created a makeshift environment similar to pickup basketball.

The challenges did not hamper Cleveland State.

Defending their top ranking status in the conference, the Vikings and Colonials traded baskets for a majority of the first 10 minutes despite sloppy offensive play, before CSU created separation.

RMU was offensively challenged for most of the first 20 minutes. Head coach Andy Toole used two timeouts to regroup his team and try to compose his unit from falling into an insurmountable deficit.

Robert Morris trailed by 12 inside the final five minutes, a 36-24 score, but fought its way back after the half’s final media timeout. 

Cleveland State ended the first half scoreless in final 3 minutes and 19 seconds with RMU scoring the last six points. RMU trailed 36-30 entering the second half. 

Both teams shot 42% from the floor but RMU struggled from three and taking care of the ball.

RMU recorded a 2-for-11 (18%) clip compared to 33% for the Vikings. 

The main difference was turnovers. After taking care of the ball well at YSU, RMU turned the rock over a whopping 11 times allowing eight points on the other end for Cleveland State.

RMU’s Enoch Cheeks and CSU’s D’Moi Hodge each scored 11 points apiece to lead their respective programs. Deante Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field for seven points as the next closest scorer. 

Cleveland State maintained the lead through the entire second half. RMU hurt itself by being careless with the ball and never improving behind the three point arc.

Both teams traded baskets but CSU more efficiently and placed themselves in a good position to control the pace.

RMU fought back on several occasions, failing to truly move the needle on the scoreboard but stick around until the very end.

Cleveland State ended the game on a major run to close out the Colonials. 

Enoch Cheeks had one of his best nights in a RMU uniform and led the Colonials with 21 points. Cheeks was helped by 15 from Spear and 10 from Stone on 4-of-4 shooting. 

RMU collectively shot 50% overall and a staggering 5-for-21 (24%) from downtown. 

Four players scored in double figures for Cleveland State paced by 25 from Torrey Patton. Hodge (15), Tre Gomillion (13), and Broc Finstuen (10) all impacted the scoresheet. 

The Colonials turned the ball over 18 times and lost by 16, the largest differential of the night. 

Robert Morris finishes the 2021-22 season 8-24 overall and 5-16 during the conference regular season to conclude its second year in the Horizon League. 

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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