The Robert Morris Colonials had quite a week this past week while trying to both salvage a season split and a clean season sweep.
RMU began the week trying to avenge a New Years eve loss to Cleveland State when they would faceoff against the Vikings. The Colonials came into the Friday contest suffering back to back losses after seeing their three-game win steak snapped by Northern Kentucky.
Robert Morris did not exactly get off to the greatest of starts in this one, being down by as many as 15 points, when they trailed 15-5 at the 9:20 mark. Neither team played quite stellar in the first half, with neither team cracking 40% from the field and the Colonials only hitting 2 of their 13 three point attempts. The two teams would take a combined 61 field goal attempts in the first half, knocking down only 22 of those.
RMU would however, do what RMU does and dig themselves out of the 15-point hole they dug, lead by who else, Enoch Cheeks. Cheeks would lead all Colonials with 17 points on the evening, followed by Kahliel Spear with 11 and Stephaun Walker with 10. One would argue however, that it was the freshman Walker who played a bigger role in erasing the 15 point Vikings lead, tallying his 10 points and 10 boards all while dealing with foul trouble. Walker would collect half of his rebounds in the second half and coach Andy Toole, quoted post game saying “He needs to be smarter on some of his fouls, but he had a couple put backs that kept us in the game early on”.
RMU would find themselves tied at 55 with 46 seconds left in the game and possession coming out of a timeout. Deciding against going 2-for-1 and playing deep into the shot clock, Cheeks drove into the lane and was called for an offensive foul. Cleveland State would get the ball back and ultimately win the game after Deante Johnson tipped in a 3rd look from around the rim. Yet another it was a close game the Colonials found themselves in and yet again, found a way to lose; this one on an offensive foul and an odd decision to not take the 2-for-1 opportunity.
Robert Morris would shake off the heartbreak and look to get a clean sweep again Purdue Fort Wayne on Super Bowl Sunday. The Colonials again came out lethargic it seemed, finding themselves not only down 15 early, but also scoreless until the 15:01 mark. RMU would have one of the bleaker halves of their season, find themselves down 37-24, and only knocking down 10 of their 34 field goal attempts.
Yet again, Robert Morris would do what Robert Morris does and claw back in this one. Although this took what felt like way more energy to do. RMU would finally pull within two, being down 52-50 at the 10:58 mark but allow the lead to grow back to as many as six. With 2:35 left, Spear would finally knot the game at 64, and Michael Green III, who lead all scorers wit 24, would knock down a three to put RMU ahead for good.
The Colonials now finds themselves at 7-9 in league play and sitting in 8th place with four games remaining. RMU will head home for a three game homestand, starting with Green Bay on Thursday. It is the oldest cliché in sports, but for Robert Morris, the post season begins right now, every game from this point on is a MUST WIN.