Colonials fall to Oakland, 74-53

Photo+credit%3A+Samuel+Anthony

Photo credit: Samuel Anthony

By Rashad Christian

Coming off of a much needed win against the Duquesne Dukes, the Robert Morris Colonials headed back to the Charles L. Sewall Center for a non-conference match-up against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.

What started off as a tight game slowly turned into an onslaught.

The score was tied at 26-26 with about four minutes left in the first half. Then, Oakland’s near seven-foot center Brad Brechting hit a layup to spark the Golden Grizzlies.

They finished the half on a 11-2 run to open their lead to 37-28. Oakland did not look back from there, as it downed the Colonials by 21, 74-53.

At the post game press conference, RMU head coach Andy Toole voiced his disappointment with his players’ performances.

“Everything was a struggle,” Toole said. “Offensively. defensively, you could feel it. We created too many difficulties for ourselves.”

The Colonials went into this contest with the best scoring defense in the Northeast conference. Their 74 points allowed to Oakland is actually impressive, as the Golden Grizzlies have averaged about 85 points per game this season.

In fact, Toole found several positive takeaways from the contest. “I thought we had a few pretty good individual performances,” he said. “I thought Roberto Mantovani had probably his best all around game.”

Mantovani was a highly respected transfer from Cuesta College this off-season. Through the first 11 games of this campaign, he is averaging just 1.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

In this game, he finished with six points, four rebounds and a pair of assists. However, Mantovani’s intangibles are what really made him a top player for Robert Morris in this game. He was in the opponent’s face constantly, causing a few turnovers.

Coach Toole also mentioned how impressed he was that sophomore guard Matty McConnell was being aggressive early on. McConnell scored all of his eight points in the first half. He finished 4-of-7 from the field and added a pair of steals to his stat line.

However, McConnell did continue his very unfortunate streak. The sophomore guard hasn’t hit a three-pointer in six straight games; his last one came against Kansas State on Nov. 22.

Kavon Stewart has continued to be a leader for Robert Morris. This is the sixth straight game of Stewart scoring 10 or more points. Progress in other categories is being seen also, as he shot 6-of-8 from the charity stripe against Oakland.

Stewart’s percentage at the line, while he did shoot well against the Golden Grizzlies, still sits at a dismal 65.8 percent.

The Colonials will look to regroup during their week off before their next game. On Dec. 17, RMU will travel to face off against No. 14 Virginia in one of the Colonials’ last two non-conference games of the season.