It’s hard to win a basketball game when you can’t seem to find the bottom of the net.
Wednesday evening, the Robert Morris opened its 2021-22 campaign with a road tilt in Orlando against Central Florida. This is pretty much a brand new roster for RMU, and I was curious to see how a few things would shake out for them.
How would the Colonials handle a road atmosphere, with a new roster, on opening night? Would they communicate well? Would they fight to the bitter end or fold up their tents? What kind of game will this be?
The confidence was there from the jump, the colonials didn’t see overwhelmed and fought their tails off for 40 minutes. This was the type of game where just looking at the stat sheet does not truly tell the whole story. This to me, was a throw the stat sheet away and watch the tape type of game.
RMU ended the first half shooting 10 of 36 from the field, while the Knights shot a solid 53%. The Colonials got some really great looks, just could not get the shots to go; that is going to happen. I thought Robert Morris had really good ball movement, created some great looks, just some nights, its not your night. The Colonials went to the locker room down 17 at the break, but boy, it sure felt closer.
One bright spot for the Colonials to hang their hat on was holding Brandon Mahan, the fifth year guard, scoreless well into the second half. They had gotten a solid double digit lead down to single digits, just seemed to run out of steam down the stretch. Andy Toole preaches energy; you have to have it and show it to play for him. This thing could have REALLY gotten away from the Colonials, their energy and fight had to annoy UCF; they weren’t going away.
Once trailing by 19 in the second half, the Colonials rallied to a 69-59 final, truly battling until the bitter end. RMU will regroup and move their focus to 10th-ranked Kentucky as they prepare for their Friday night matchup in Lexington. This will be an even bigger test for Toole’s Colonials, but if they can bring the same energy, the same fight to Rupp Arena on Friday night, who knows what can happen.
I can’t wait for Big Blue Nation to meet these Colonials; they are in for one heck of a battle.