Robert Morris, coming off two straight road losses to Central and Kentucky, found themselves in in another road matchup with Ohio University Monday night. The Colonials, who will play nine of their first 12 games away from Peoples Court, came out with a better effort, tempo than the previous two games. While the effort and tempo seemed better early, it was not enough to save RMU, who saw their third straight loss, 85-71.
Things seemed to get off to an OK start, Justin Winston was then called for a silly technical foul early in the first half and didn’t see anymore action in the first half. Colonials were paced by Jaron Williams and Kahliel Spear in the first half, scoring 11 and 8 points respectively. The Colonials ended the first half shooting 42% with 8 turnovers and really struggled to control the boards allowing OU to gather 16 rebounds, 13 of those on the defensive end.
The Bobcats, coming off 2 impressive wins to start their 2021-22 campaign versus Belmont and Horizon League preseason favorite Cleveland State, saw their first half end with a 2 guys in double figures, lead by Ben Vander Plas with 11. Vander Plas was stellar in the first half, scoring 11 points, collecting 6 boards. OU shot 46% in the first half with impressive ball movement and shot selection and only turning it over a total of 5 times in the first 20 minutes of action.
RMU came out in the 2nd half extremely sloppy, fouling a 3 point shooter and allowing OU to score their first five points from the free throw line. Robert Morris simply had way too many “one and done” trips on the offensive end, allowing Ohio to grab 23 defensive boards and the colonials only gathering 4 offensive boards; you aren’t beating many teams with those stats. Williams and Spear lead RMU, scoring 22 and 11 respectively, but they were not enough to overcome the big three, Vander Plas, Carter and Sears.
Give credit to OU, every time the Colonials showed some push and tried to grab momentum, they came roaring right back with big shot after big shot. Carter and Vander Plas both ended the contest with double doubles, the Bobcats saw five guys in double figures. Ohio ended Monday shooting 46% from the field, 31% from three and 93% from the charity stripe. The Bobcats, who coming into the contest vs RMU shooting 41% from three, created numerous good looks from beyond the arch and were not bashful in their attempts.
At times, Robert Morris looked like they had cement blocks tied to their feet on the defensive end. Facing a team shooting 41% from three with as much movement as they have, you cant allow guys to get lost in rotation and you have to communicate well; RMU didn’t.
Robert Morris, heading home for their 2021-22 home opener against former NEC hated rival Mount St. Mary’s, look to get their first win of the season Friday night. While they wont be facing the likes of Kentucky or OU, the Colonials will need to bring it Friday night, you CAN’T lose this one if you are RMU, not against this team.