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Robert Morris Basketball

Robert Morris Loses 63-43 to Horizon League’s Best, Oakland

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Josh Corbin Robert Morris basketball

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — On Thursday night, Robert Morris dropped its third-straight conference game, this time falling to the best team in the Horizon League: the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.

Oakland hopped out to an early 18-9 lead over the Colonials in the first ten minutes of action, dominating the paint early on and forcing seven turnovers from Robert Morris. DQ Cole and Trey Townsend combined for 14 of the team’s first 18 points, leading a dominant charge early on.

Robert Morris’ Justice Williams hit his second basket of the night with less than eight minutes to go in the half, cutting the deficit down to eight, 20-12. However, the Colonials continued to struggle, and after another miss minutes later, they were just 5 for 20 from the field and 2 for 8 from three-point range.

Oakland continued to score inside, earning 20 points in the paint before the Colonials had scored 20 total points. A late, deep two-point jump shot from freshman Alvaro Folgueiras cut the deficit down to ten points, and at the first-half buzzer, Josh Corbin missed a corner three. At the break, Oakland led 29-19, with Cole and Townsend leading the way with nine points apiece.

To start the second half, Robert Morris’ Markeese Hastings and Josh Corbin each hit early three pointers, but Oakland countered with a deep ball from veteran Blake Lampman.

Shortly after Hastings hit his early three pointer, he committed a foul with 18:17 to play in the half and came out of the game due to an injury. Hastings did not return to the game.

“He was saying that he would give it a shot, he was kind of cramping,” Robert Morris head coach Andy Toole said. “I said, let me know if you’re ready and we’ll see what we can do. I just don’t know if he felt completely comfortable.”

That basket was a part of a 14-0 Oakland run that spanned over four minutes of action. The Colonials, struggling to stop Oakland and struggling to score on the other end, had scored just six points in the first six minutes of the second half.

TJ Wainwright hit a fast-break layup with just over 12 minutes to play to trim the lead down to 18, and on the ensuing possession, RMU forced an Oakland turnover. On the ensuing possession, Wainwright knocked down a three pointer, cutting the lead back down to 15.  However, Oakland’s Chris Conway got a smooth left-handed floater to go down and the lead was back up to 17.

Throughout the remainder of the game, the Colonials failed to score enough to make the game competitive. The Grizzlies capped off the win, 63-43, behind a monster 22-point, 17-rebound night from Townsend.

“He’s so physical,” Toole said about Townsend ater the game. “They shot twelve times more free throws than we shot. They defend physically. He just does a great job of sealing you. I’ve talked to Coach Kampe about his love of the weight room. You can just see his ability to play on balance. His ability to make it hard for you to break contact and get to the front. He can just seal you and hold you there. I think really good post players don’t always need to drive you away, they just hold their own space.”

Robert Morris’ Folgueiras finished as the team’s leading scorer with 13 points. As a team, the Colonials hit 17 of their 60 shot attempts, shooting 28% from the field and 27% from three-point range. Folgueiras led the team in rebounding with 11 boards, completing his double-double night. Oakland won the rebounding battle 46-37, and forced 14 Robert Morris turnovers in the win. The Colonials only attempted two free throws in the loss.

With the loss, Robert Morris falls to 10-18 (6-11 Horizon) on the year, while Oakland retains first place in the Horizon League at 19-10 overall and 14-4 Horizon.

The Colonials will now play against Cleveland State on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m., once again at the UPMC Events Center.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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