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Robert Morris Drops Final Home Test to Northern Kentucky



MOON TOWNSHIP – Despite being locked into the No. 9 seed of the Horizon League Tournament with two games to go in the regular season, Robert Morris looked to close out its home slate by shaking up the standings.

Hoping to better its positioning in the Horizon League and hold onto a first-round bye, Northern Kentucky cruised inside the UPMC Events Center on Wednesday, 70-60, to sweep the season series over RMU.

One of the top players in the entire conference, Marques Warrick, dialed up a monster performance with 28 points on 10 of 19 shooting. He also drained a pair of triples and dished out five assists in the winning effort.

Along with another one of Warrick’s impressive outing’s, the Norse orchestrated a rather clean game, only putting the Colonials on the free-throw line twice and registering six team fouls prior to the final media timeout.

On the other side, the Colonials did not help their cause with a copious amount of ill-advised turnovers. RMU (10-20, 6-13 HL) turned the ball over 19 times as NKU (17-13, 12-7 HL) added 22 free points off of those errors.

As the Colonials went down by 21, Josh Corbin attempted to keep RMU around with his 14 points on four 3-pointers. Corbin’s performance vaulted him over the 1,000 career points in his collegiate career.

If the first five and a half minutes were any indication on how the first half would go for the Colonials, it was spot on. RMU began the contest going 0 for 7 from the floor and it didn’t really improve from there.

A Corbin three finally ended a forgettable start the contest for RMU as NKU had already pushed ahead 9-0 with Warrick delivering two driving lay-ins and Randall Pettus connecting on a corner three.

RMU closed in on the Norse after the under 16 timeout as TJ Wainwright buried a triple from the right wing and Justice Williams knocked down one of his patented mid-range jumpers to make it 11-10.

However, any chance of taking over was thwarted by repetitive unforced Robert Morris turnovers – 12 in the first half to be exact.

Meanwhile, Warrick, who averages 19 points per game, was lethal with purposeful drives to the basket, along with a 3-point connection with the shot clock about to expire. He made the Colonials pay in the first 20 with 20 points.

Trey Robinson and Michael Bradley, as they’ve done all season long, supported Warrick’s efforts. Robinson had a pair of drives inside that led to a two-handed flush and a layup on the subsequent basket. Bradley drained three treys on the way to nine points in the first half as the Norse shot 42.9 % from beyond the arc.

Northern Kentucky closed out the first half on a 9-0 run as the Colonials came up empty in the last 2:55, including a miserable miss that by Wainwright that didn’t even touch rim as the clock hit zeroes leading into halftime with the Norse leading 42-23.

RMU’s 23 points on 36.4 percent shooting (8 for 22) in the first half tied the second-lowest output of the season. It ties the 23 that the Colonials scored in their first conference matchup of the season at Northern Kentucky.

After trading buckets to open the second half, the ball found Corbin as he rose up and dropped in a triple at the 18:33 mark to surpass 1,000 career collegiate points.

Calmly maintaining their sizable advantage, the Norse continued to watch Warrick pour in shots, while Robinson had the corner three touch to make it 49-28.

On a 5-0 run propelled by Corbin with a triple and a driving layup, the Colonials moved their deficit to just 13 points midway through the second half.

Any thought of continuing that run was ended thanks to a pair of Robinson buckets heading into the lane and another triple from Bradley.

Robinson closed out the contest with 18 points, while Bradley recorded 15 on four treys.

Wainwright added 12 points on three triples as the Colonials shot 35.5 percent from outside and 41.2 percent from the field.

Robert Morris closes out its regular season on the road as the Colonials take on Purdue Fort Wayne. Tip is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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