Since the 2018-19 season, every opportunity to face Detroit Mercy came down to one specific thing. Can you stop Antoine Davis? If the answer is yes, you will win. If the answer is no, there is a high likelihood your team will lose.
Robert Morris faced Detroit Mercy on the road Saturday afternoon and faced that specific question. The team lost. Davis became the NCAA three-point king with a minute to go before halftime, connecting his 510th career triple to pass Wofford guard Fletcher Magee.
RMU looked to bounce back from a 69-65 loss at Oakland Thursday night but could not lock in defensively. The Colonials (8-11, 3-5 Horizon League) dropped its fourth-straight road conference game in an 87-75 loss to the Titans (7-12, 3-5), who broke a four-game losing skid.
Both teams traded turns possessing the lead in the early going, but Detroit Mercy consistently led by a possession or two throughout the first half. Davis pummeled Robert Morris for 26 first-half points including 8-of-11 (72.7%) shooting from three. No other Detroit Mercy player had more than six points as the Titans shot 55.7% overall and 11-of-18 (61.1%) from distance.
The performance from the fifth-year guard put RMU behind the eight ball defensively and challenged the offense to step up. As usual, Kahliel Spear and Enoch Cheeks guided the way.
Spear totaled nine points and three rebounds in the first 20 minutes, shooting 4-of-8 (50%). Cheeks, meanwhile, paced the Colonials in points with 11 while making all three triples he attempted. Michael Green III added a spark off the bench, contributing seven points and two assists. Josh Corbin also knocked down two threes.
RMU out-rebounded Detroit Mercy 13-9 and registered two additional assists (8-6). A fairly clean game with nine total turnovers – five by Robert Morris – the Colonials continued looking for a statement to be made in the second half. Davis made it for them.
The Titans outscored the opposition 45-34 after the intermission as Davis finished scoring a game-high 41 points on 15-of-26 shooting and 11-of-18 from deep, which was not even his best performance against the Colonials. Davis helped welcome RMU to the Horizon League on Feb. 25, 2021, by scoring 46 points at home.
A.J. Oliver connected on four triples and recorded 14 points off the bench. Gerald Liddell added 15 points, including nine at the free-throw line, and three rebounds. Davis also registered six rebounds and three assists. Kyle LeGreair paced Detroit Mercy in rebounds (7), assists (5), and steals (2) as the team shot 52.7% and 58.6% behind the arc.
Robert Morris dipped to 44.6% overall and capitalized on 9-of-21 (42.9%) three-point attempts. RMU did shoot well at the line, making 16-of-19, including a perfect 4-for-4 from Green and Stephaun Walker. Four players scored in double digits led by 22 from Cheeks and seven rebounds. Spear also tied for the team-high in boards (7) and added 15 points. Walker continued his steady ascension with 10 points and a steal in only 17 minutes. Josh Corbin connected on 3-of-9 threes and did not turn the ball over. Matt Mayers only played three minutes off the bench in the defeat.
Robert Morris faces Milwaukee on the road for the third of four-straight road games Thursday at 8 p.m.