OH-NO; Colonials leave Ohio winless

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The rocky journey of the 2023-23 RMU Colonials men’s basketball team continued this past week as they rolled in and out of the state Ohio with back to back losses.

Coming off a win at home against Milwaukee a week ago, the Colonials made the trip to Ohio to face off against Youngstown State and Wright State. RMU came into to both games winless against both Youngstown State and Wright State, losing both by a combined 39 points earlier this season. If you have followed Robert Morris at all this season, you could likely guess how both of these games were going to be played.

The Colonials would enter the matchup against Youngstown State, after losing to them by 14 earlier this season, 6-8 in league play, with the Penguins coming in at 10-5. RMU would come out of the gates with a quick three by Josh Corbin, who has been a fairly bright spot at times this year for the Colonials in much darkened season. RMU would actually pull ahead again 9-6 after a Justice Williams three at the 15:32 mark. However, that would be the only love Robert Morris would provide its fanbase this Valentine’s Day.

Youngstown State, lead by Brett Thompson, would see three players score in double figures, all scoring 20+. If you just looked at the stat lines in this one, you would think the Colonials came out ahead, as they shot better from the field on both FG attempts and threes than YSU did, shooting 41.5% from the field as opposed to 39.7% for YSU. The first half saw RMU, yet again, kept their opponent at arms length, trailing 37-33, only to see their defense fall apart in the second half. The Colonials would give up 50 points in the latter 20 minutes of action, with 18 of those coming for YSU at the free throw line. RMU held YSU to 2-12 from three and 15-40 in the second half, but seemingly could still not make up any ground, losing to YSU, 87-77. The Colonials have now lost both matchups to the friends down the interstate this season, but at least this one, kind of felt a bit more competitive, at least.

Next up for RMU was a quick trip down the road to Fairborn, OH to faceoff against Wright State, who in a sense, “beat them like a drum” in their last match up at the UPMC Events Center in Moon.

This matchup, would somehow, if it is possible, felt even less competitive than the one earlier this season. Wright State came out guns blazing, seemingly not missing a shot (at least that’s how it felt, again), shooting 21-29 from the field, including 6-7 from three. On the other hand, RMU would only knock down 9 of their 21 field goal attempts in the first twenty minutes, BUT would make all 12 of their free throw attempts, or this one would have been more embarrassing. Wright State would drop 53 on the Colonials in the first half and RMU would head to the break trailing by a whopping 21; again. In their first match up this season, the Colonials gave up 58 in the first half and also trailed by 21. Also, in both contests, the Colonials would give up 101 and not even break the 76 point mark themselves.

This season, as mentioned has yet again been a rocky one for Andy Toole and RMU and things at times seem to be on the upswing and then RMU does things like they just did in Ohio; fall back to their negative body language and frustrations. The Colonials have four games remaining, three of which are at home against Oakland, Cleveland State and Northern Kentucky, all three of which the Colonials fell to earlier this season by an average of 11 points; only competitive game was Cleveland State where they fell late by two points.

There is still somewhat of a chance for RMU to salvage this season, but it feels like it will take an act from the man upstairs for that to happen. RMU is wasting some good talent again this season and to be honest, they feel even less competitive in this league than when they originally joined.

Where does RMU go from here, more importantly, where does the athletic department and Toole go from here. We will see what the next four games holds for the future of this program, but boy, it sure feels turbulent.

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