Coming in to the contest Thursday, the final one for 2021, RMU would be without arguably their best, most important player in Rasheem Dunn, but would that maybe spark some new found toughness out of the Colonials?
Well, watching the first 20 minutes, I sat there thinking, “Hey, wait a minute here. This team playing up tempo, loose and confident it seemed, do we have something here?”. Obviously, you never want to be without one of your best players, but maybe, just maybe, that would spark something in RMU?
RMU, specially Kam Farris, came out guns a blazing to start, shooting an eye popping 73% for the first 10 minutes of the game, yes you read that right, seventy three percent. Robert Morris was able to create numerous good looks, using their big guys to help counter the 1-3-1 zone the Grizzlies threw at them and also, somehow, were able to really frustrate OU on the boards. RMU was not without a little frustration of their own, while the action was up and down the whole half, the Colonials were able to keep Oakland within arms reach, but they just could not seem to ever grab or hold much of a lead, leading only for a whopping :15 the whole first half.
OU was able to stretch their lead to five late in the first half with a breakaway lob/dunk and that was when it kinda started to feel like the Grizzlies realized, hey what are we doing here?. RMU obviously was not going to continue their unconscious shooting performance, and cooled off slightly ending the first half shooting 57% and trailing 41-38 at the break.
That was the good. Now, the final 20 minutes, was, lets just say ROUGH. It is hard for me to really be too negative about RMU in the final 20 knowing they were missing Rasheem Dunn, but OU was also missing one of their better players as well. Robert Morris was still up against, and you knew Oakland was not going to allow RMU to seemingly grab every rebound possible.
Jamal Cain and Trey Townsend really made their presence known in the last 20 minutes, Robert Morris simply had zero answer for either of them. Cain respectively collected 14 rebounds while scoring 22 points, really dominating RMU on the glass which you knew was only a matter of time. Oakland saw 4 players score in double figures, while Jalen Moore was in the season of giving, dishing out 10 assists while dropping 15 points.
It was another Robert Morris loss, it was another second-half performance that RMU fans feeling like they have most of 2021; blah. If the Colonials can somehow put 40 minutes together the way they played the first 20, the wins will come and in big fashion.
RMU, thanks to Covid-19, had its game Saturday against Detroit Mercy canceled so the Colonials will FINALLY head home to the UPMC Events Center for a five-game homestand beginning with Youngstown State on Wednesday.
GRIT, is the RMU motto, and they are going to have to continue to show a good amount and stay the course for 2022.