RMU ends 2022 home slate with back to back losses; where to go from here?

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Man, not sure the RMU Colonials have suffered a worse loss under head coach Andy Toole than they did on Thursday night when they fell to IUPUI 66-56. What looked like a blowout on paper, what should have been a blowout in reality, turned into an absolute nightmare for RMU.

IUPUI came into the game with zero league wins, zero Division I wins and only six healthy players. How in the world could RMU lose this game? Well, it starts with what has bugged the Colonials from the opening tip of the 2021-2022 season: TURNOVERS. Robert Morris has turned the basketball over five times in the opening 9 minutes of the game. Coming off a pretty large win against YSU, most everyone expected RMU to come out with much better effort, but teams that continue to struggle just seem to be unable to break old, bad habits.

At one point, Robert Morris went four straight offensive possessions with a turnover, ending the first half with a 2:10 assist to turnover ratio; in one word, YUCK. The Jaguars had five turnovers the first nine minutes, but saw six of their first seven shots find the bottom of the net, while RMU was just 4-of-11 during that span. Tied at 24 at halftime, still seemed like as bad as Robert Morris was playing, they would still be able to squeak out a win.

WRONG.

The Colonials’ go-to man, Kahliel Spear, had one of his worst games of the season, even after scoring 11 points and collecting six rebounds. He just seemed kind of “off” all night. With the game at 32-30, Spear would pick a technical foul that just seemed to kind of sum up the night for everyone in an RMU uniform. One moment noted was what Enoch Cheeks came up with a stellar block with the game at 45-44, thinking maybe, just maybe THAT was going to be the play that turned it all around.

Robert Morris would lose 66-56, giving IUPUI its first league win of this season and leaving a very, very sour taste in the Colonials’ mouth. RMU would have to look to rebound quickly as UIC was coming to town on Sunday, could Robert Morris use that game to get the taste out of their mouth?

Outside of Spear, RMU is simply lacking guys who “want” to make plays, they have enough who try but not nearly enough who “want” it. UIC, who is just above Robert Morris in the Horizon League standings, also beat RMU earlier this month, 80-75, and would look to duplicate that outcome.

Although, this time around, 40 minutes would not be enough as Michael Green III put Robert Morris ahead 83-81 with :49 left to play. A costly turnover by Spear with :22 left allowed Jace Carter to tie it at 83-83. Missed jumped by Green III and missed put back from Cheeks as time expired sent this one to overtime where UIC would outscore RMU 13-5.

Robert Morris ends the 2021-2022 home campaign with four wins, three of those being D1/league wins. RMU will head on the road to face Northern Kentucky and Wright State this week to finish up the regular season. Where do the Colonials and head coach Andy Toole go from here? A berth in the NCAA is all but a pipe dream, but in a one and done format, could RMU maybe spoil some march dreams? I am curious to see how they rebound after the worst performance of an RMU team in years last Thursday, I mean hey, it can’t get any worse right?

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