Just when you thought things were possibly taking a turn for the better for the RMU Colonials, well, you thought wrong. Coming off their first Horizon League win and playing a better brand of basketball, RMU took an absolute drubbing from Purdue Fort Wayne and then lost a fairly closer battle to league stud Cleveland State.
The Colonials, losing the previous 76-70 in a very competitive game, Robert Morris took one on the chin Friday, losing 86-62. Now yes, the Colonials were without Kam Farris, but that is NO excuse for this this performance. RMU was a mere 7-21 in the first half from the field while allowing the Mastodons to shoot almost 60%, making 17-29 shots. Playing defense is all about heart and “want to” and quite frankly, on Friday, The Colonials looked like it would rather be anywhere else but Memorial Coliseum. Coming on the few previous games where things really started to look like they would be taking a turn for the better, you can’t have this type of performance, you just can’t.
The most eye popping stat is what PFW was able to do from three point range, shooting 62% and making 15 threes. When you score 86 points an about half of them come from three point range, boy, that will be an easy, fun day at the office, huh? Purdue Fort Wayne also only shot a total of 3 free throws the whole night, that shows you what they were able to create outside and the lack of effort RMU gave to allow this. Three free throws in a NCAA basketball game where the refs love nothing more than calling fouls? If I was able to create such clean looks from outside, I would not want to bother with the paint either.
Robert Morris was led by Kahliel Spear again, scoring 26 points, but PFW saw 4 players score in double figures, with Damian Chong Qui, scoring a game high 20. Michael Green III scored 14 points, but only on 1-of-7 shooting, making 11 of 11 free throws.
RMU moved on to face Cleveland State on Sunday, after almost taking down league giant a couple weeks ago, dropping the contest on Sunday, 75-68. Coming off the embarrassment that was Friday, Robert Morris actually came out Sunday with slightly better effort and actually grabbing a 35-30 lead in the first half. Like most of this season, the Colonials were not able to finish a complete 40 minutes and dropped their ninth league contest.
RMU held Cleveland State to 40% shooting in the first half but reverted back to their old ways in the second half, with CSU shooting 50% while also going to the line 28 times. That would be the other story of the second half, where both teams combined to shoot 43 free throws, FORTY THREE, in 20 minutes. Boy, that just makes for a brutal flow to the game.
Robert Morris was lead by Brandon Stone, scoring 14 points, followed by Enoch Cheeks and Green, scoring 13 each. RMU lost Spear briefly to an injury but he did return and ended up seeing 36 minutes of action, but only scoring 4 points on 2 of 6 shooting. Cleveland State was lead by D’Moi Hodge, scoring a game high 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Robert Morris moves to 1-9 in league play while Cleveland State moves to 9-1, escaping two potential upsets from the Colonials. RMU has a few days off before welcoming Milwaukee and Green Bay to the UPMC Events Center Thursday and Saturday. I have no idea what to expect the rest of the way for RMU, but it is time for them to figure something out. This “hot and cold” stuff with effort is getting old, its time for guys who WANT to be here to play for guys who don’t want to be here, to leave. Andy Toole is going to get a good look at who “wants it” in the coming weeks.