Robert Morris Basketball
Robert Morris Dominates Milwaukee in All Phases on Senior Day 80-60
Robert Morris honored seniors Kahliel Spear and Michael Green III prior to the team’s matchup against Milwaukee. The Panthers entered the night in a three-way tie for second place in the Horizon League and looked to keep pace with Cleveland State and Northern Kentucky. The RMU seniors would not let that happen. Not even close.
The Colonials (14-5, 9-9 Horizon League) dominated the entire game and benefitted from multiple Milwaukee (18-10, 12-6) missed free throws to win by 20 points, 80-60, and once lead by 27. Spear totaled another double-double at 14 points and 11 rebounds along with three steals and Green added 14 on 4-of-7 three-point shooting.
Spear and Green III have been major factors in an RMU program beginning to find its footing in the Horizon League after joining the conference three years ago.
RMU started the night with energy and ignited a hypothetical firing in the building, hitting early shots and riding the momentum of a hot start from Spear. Ahmad Rand and Spear both connected on layups for the first points on either side, were fouled on the attempt, and knocked down a free throw to complete a three-point play. The Colonials lead 11-8 at the first media timeout, but that’s when the tide began to turn.
It wasn’t long before Milwaukee controlled the pace and tempo. The Panthers embarked on a 13-8 run before MGIII sank a transition triple to put the Colonials within two (21-19). Spear hit two free throws two possessions later and was far from done. Spear added two more at the line.
After trailing 21-16 before the Green III triple, RMU embarked on a 16-2 run and grabbed a 32-21 advantage following a TJ Wainwright left-wing three with 5:42 remaining in the half. 16-2 became 27-12 to end the first 20 minutes as the Colonials held a 42-31 lead.
Kahliel Spear paced RMU scoring 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting while chipping in five rebounds. Green III added five points, three rebounds, and two assists in 15 minutes, starting for Josh Corbin, who knocked down three triples. Jackson Last added eight as Enoch Cheeks had a quiet two points offensively, but did dish out four assists.
The Colonials shot 14-of-33 from the field and capitalized on a hot night behind the arc. RMU totaled an 8-of-15 (53.3%) mark in the first half and out-rebounded MKE 24-13 including 9-2 on the offensive glass.
Kentrell Pullian scored a team-best eight points in 12 minutes as Milwaukee shot 45% as a team, 3-of-7 from deep, and committed one less turnover than RMU (7-8). Rand added seven points, two rebounds, and two blocks.
Leading 50-36 just over three minutes into the resumption of play, Last fouled Elijah Jamison shooting behind the arc. Jamison connected on all three and allowed the Panthers to set up a full-court press. Trapped in the near-side corner, Green III called timeout as Milwaukee nearly forced a 12th RMU turnover.
Milwaukee kept chipping away and cut the deficit inside single digits at the under-12 media timeout, trailing 56-47. The leadership of Green III and Spear was on full display throughout the night and especially in the second half.
Both teams went cold following the break in the action. RMU did not score in over three minutes until a transition left-handed layup by Cheeks. Following a steal, Spear attempted to bring the house down on a massive tomahawk dunk in which he was fouled and took a hard fall. He walked off the floor after taking a moment to get up and drew the under-eight media timeout with the score 59-49 in favor of RMU. Spear hit 1-of-2 free throws.
Last stepped up on both ends and added two free throws and a floater to further push the RMU lead. The Colonials completed a 9-1 run following the under-eight break to go ahead 68-50 entering the next timeout.
RMU completed a 23-5 run entering the final 32 seconds of the game and sealed the deal offensively and defensively to defeat the Panthers.
Last finished with 16 points and three steals. Corbin also added 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting in 28 minutes.
The Colonials shot 45.8% as a team and 44.4% from three, making 12-of-27 triples. Jamison scored 13 for Milwaukee, five at the line, and Pullian registered 10. Rand added 13 and BJ Freeman shot 4-of-11 as the Panthers shot better from three (7-of-16) than overall from the field (22-of-53).
Andy Toole’s team dominated the glass 45-23, 16-6 on the offensive boards, and added 17 assists. The Panthers closed by shooting 9-of-16 (56.3%) at the line.
RMU hosts conference No. 1 Youngstown State Tuesday night at 7 p.m. to close the regular-season home schedule.