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Robert Morris Rides Huge 2nd Half Run to Upset Win over Youngstown State



Robert Morris

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A second-half manhandling of Youngstown State (22-8, 14-5) led to a 83-64 Robert Morris (15-15, 10-9) upset win over the top team in the Horizon League.

The game was tied, heading into the first media timeout of the second half before RMU went on a 19-0 run to race away from the first-place Penguins. The win, the fourth straight for the Colonials, clinched a home playoff game in the Horizon League playoffs for Robert Morris.

Robert Morris started off strong with a key block by Khalil Spear preventing the game’s first basket and leading to a Robert Morris lead. Youngstown State did take the lead shortly after, but a 7-0 run that started off a highlight reel worthy dunk from Speer gave Robert Morris a 9-4 lead at the first media timeout.

Youngstown State retook the lead at 12-11 coming out of the media timeout, but they were battling Spear, who retook the lead for Robert Morris and scored seven of his team’s first 13 points. Youngstown State though had the lead by the second media timeout, 19-15.

Robert Morris answered Youngstown State after the second media timeout, slightly outscoring them 8-6 to cut the lead to just a basket. Spear had another key block during this stretch in the middle of a pair of Micheal Green III baskets that brought them within two, 25-23, by the third media timeout.

The two teams answered shot for shot, run for run after the third media timeout. Spear continued his strong night on the defensive end, adding another pair of blocks to give him four in the first half. This happened while Enoch Cheeks stepped up offensively to match Youngstown State who saw scoring contributions from seven different players in the first half.

Despite keeping things close, Robert Morris still trailed 36-32 at the end of the first half. Cheeks and Spear led the game in scoring with 11 points each. Spear added to that with four rebounds and four blocks while Cheeks had five rebounds as well.

Out of halftime, the Colonials continued to answer shot for shot of Youngstown State before a 5-0 run finally tied things up at 43-43 heading into the second half’s first media timeout. A dunk by Chris Ford out of the media timeout face Robert Morris their first lead since they led 13-12 early in the game.

Robert Morris went on a 19-0 run to extend their lead to 57-43. It was an incredible stretch of basketball that included seven forced turnovers over just an approximate five-minute span.

Youngstown State cut the lead to nine at 66-55. Robert Morris though would hit three-consecutive three-pointers, with Josh Corbin hitting the first two, to extend their led to 17 at 74-57. Not long after that, Robert Morris had the game’s first 20-point lead at 79-59.

It was an incredible second half for RMU as is felt like they were able to do anything they wanted to do. They shot 20-for-28 (71.4%) in the second half including 7-for-11 (63.6%) from three-point line.

The offensive explosion was primarily led by Corbin who finished with a game-high 19-points. Spear and Cheeks both finished with 15-points while Green also crossed double-digits with 11 points.

The Colonials will close the regular season against IUPUI on the road on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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