Yeah sure, the Robert Morris Colonials blew the doors of St. Vincent on Sunday afternoon (uh, outside the Pitt Volleyball team, the only team to have won a contest in the last week or so by the way). But, coming into the game with 4 straight losses and their only D1 win against FDU, I guess beggars can’t be choosers, but what does this prove?
This was expected, this was in a way, DEMANDED, from Coach Toole and the RMU fan base (at least from my circles on social media). They have only 2 wins on the season, one of which was a tug o war type contest again Point Park, and the other previously mentioned against 2023 NCAA tourney Cinderella FDU. Taking their foot off the game in the win against FDU after having a solid, double digit lead in the second half, failing to close out close games late, the bench clearing scuffle against Jacksonville, having video game like numbers put on them against NKU, this has been a season of vast underachievement.
Yes, Markeese Hastings and Justice Williams have been, in a large part, sole bright spots for RMU this season and to be quite honest, the only reason some of these losses haven’t been worse. Hastings and Williams combined for 88 points in the Colonials last 3 games, all of which as mentioned, came in losses. Colonials have gotten contributions here and there from Stephaun Walker, but not enough to make up for everything else the Colonials seem to be lacking.
RMU, coming into the St. Vincent contest losing another nail biter vs Delaware at the UPMC Events Center saw Hastings and Williams score a combined 43 of the Colonials 69 points, with Jackson Last contributing 11 to put 3 Colonials in double figures. Justice Williams would pull the Colonials within 3 with :27 left in the game, Hastings would then answer 2 Delaware free throws with a layup to make it 70-67. Hastings would then get fouled and miss the second free throw, all while gathering the offensive board, only to have that all for not when Alfredo Boglio was whistled for a foul with :11 left.
Up 3 with :11, Delawares Cavan Reilly would foul Hastings, forcing the basketball version of the on-side kick; Make one, miss on purpose free throw. Delaware would escape in the end 73-69 and RMU had to stomach its 4th straight loss.
RMU would end the week, as mentioned to start this article, by boat racing St. Vincent by a score of 95-46. That contest is simply and this is by no means to offend St. Vincent, not worth digging into. It’s another non D1 win, which sadly, has been the RMU staple since joining the Horizon League. RMU fans expected this, but they also expect this type of effort, notice I did not say OUTCOME, but effort, against everyone. Doing this against inferior talent proves nothing to anyone. This effort needs to occur against the teams that are on par or even better than RMU, which they simply have not done enough of the last three or so seasons.
RMU will face off against familiar foe St. Francis on Wednesday in Loretta, PA and will end the Christmas season on Friday at home vs. Cornell. RMU has 3 wins in the 2023-24 season to this point, 1 of said 3 are against division 1 talent. If RMU wants to even start the conversation about being taken seriously in the Horizon League, the win against St. Vincent needs to be a building block and not yet another ho-hum beat down.
The RMU Basketball program I know and that you know was built on effort, or as they like to say GRIT. It is time for RMU to actually showcase a little bit of that. Pittsburgh area sports have been down right embarrassing as of late, and RMU has somehow, almost been more embarrassing. It simply is time to do something about it, instead of sulk.