The Northeast Convention preseason basketball ballot tabbed Robert Morris fifth among the many league’s 11 males’s groups.
The Colonials are starting to appear to be top-of-the-line within the NEC because the schedule unfolds into the second half of the season.
Josh Williams scored 21 factors, and Robert Morris bulled its technique to a 94-62 victory over Wagner on Saturday at UPMC Occasions Heart, the Colonials’ season-high fourth consecutive win.
“We’ve simply bought to maintain our focus for so long as we are able to,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole mentioned. “It doesn’t get any simpler, and that’s what we’re making an attempt to remind these guys.”
A.J. Bramah added 16 factors, Dante Treacy 14 and Yannis Mendy 13 for Robert Morris (8-9, 4-0), which entered the day with a half-game lead within the Northeast Convention.
Robert Morris, which shot 56 p.c, made 15 of 31 3-point photographs, together with 10 of 17 within the second half.
“Actually, an impressive efficiency from a taking pictures perspective,” Toole mentioned. “To have the ability to make 10 3s within the second half alone is fairly outstanding. It’s not one thing we’re going to depend on night-in and night-out.”
Robert Morris could have every week off earlier than persevering with a four-game homestand Saturday in opposition to league-newcomer Merrimack at UPMC Occasions Heart, the place the Colonials are 4-1 since shifting into the $50 million constructing.
The one loss got here Nov. 12 in its inaugural sport, a 71-57 loss to Pitt.
Curtis Cobb III led Wagner (4-11, 1-3) with 23 factors. Alex Morales added 13 for the Seahawks, who have been coming off an 80-62 loss at St. Francis (Pa.) on Thursday.
Wagner has misplaced three in a row and 4 of its previous 5 video games.
Whereas Williams continued to prepared the ground in scoring for Robert Morris — he got here in averaging 14.9 factors — there have been lots different contributors throughout the Colonials’ present profitable spree.
“We’ve simply began having enjoyable with it,” sophomore level guard Treacy mentioned. “Sharing the rock, guys swinging the ball, we had 23 assists and (solely) eight turnovers right now.”
Robert Morris took benefit of Wagner’s chilly taking pictures, significantly throughout a scoreless stretch of 6 minutes, 25 seconds that spanned the conclusion of the primary half and the beginning of the second.
The Colonials turned a five-point deficit into an 18-point lead with 18:27 left earlier than a pair of free throws by Morales ended Wagner’s scoring drought.
The Seahawks bought as shut as 12 factors on a jumper by Chase Freeman on the 15:55 mark to path 44-32, however the Colonials then pulled away, main by as a lot as 94-58 within the last minutes.
“We’re making an attempt to speak about getting good photographs each time down,” Toole mentioned.
Robert Morris completed a torrid 33 for 59 (55.9 p.c) total in contrast with 24 for 56 (42.9) for Wagner, which was 6 for 19 (31.6) from 3-point vary.
“They made a pair 3s early, and we mentioned we now have to defend that 3-point line,” Toole mentioned. “We are able to’t permit them good, clear appears to be like from 3. After that first timeout, we did job of contesting photographs and getting guys off the 3-point line. That was actually the important thing to the defensive facet.
“Offensively, the ball was shifting, and photographs have been stepping into. That makes all the things click on.”
Robert Morris trailed Wagner halfway by way of the primary half however surpassed the Seahawks on a Williams 3-pointer on the 4:52 mark to go up 22-20.
After Morales’ layup pulled Wagner even at 22-22, Mendy’s layup put Robert Morris again in entrance for good with 3:06 left earlier than halftime.
After trailing 20-15, Robert Morris went on a 20-2 run to take a 35-22 halftime lead, holding Wagner scoreless for the ultimate 4:23 of the primary half whereas ending with a 13-Zero burst.
Bramah made 5 of 6 free throws to account for the Colonials solely factors within the last 2:21.
“Guys simply get to settle in,” mentioned Robert Morris guard Jon Williams, youthful brother of Josh Williams. “As a lot as we need to win the primary spherical, to the primary media timeout, generally you need to get up. After we get up, we’re onerous to cease.”
Falling behind early has been a little bit of a trademark of this Robert Morris group. It’s not superb, Jon Williams mentioned, however he hopes the Colonials can proceed to rally for the remainder of the season.
“The final couple years,” Toole mentioned, “we’ve gotten off to good begins, and we haven’t been in a position to end the way in which we wish. Clearly, a few of our guys are very skilled by way of what number of minutes they’ve performed in NEC basketball video games, so we’re hoping they perceive.”
Dave Mackall is a Tribune-Overview contributing author.