Colonials ride momentum into Mount St. Mary’s

Photo+Credit%3A+David+Auth
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Colonials ride momentum into Mount St. Mary’s

Photo Credit: David Auth

Photo Credit: David Auth

Photo Credit: David Auth

Photo Credit: David Auth

By Austin Bechtold, Contributor

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Emmitsburg, MD– The Robert Morris University men’s basketball team (14-11, 10-2 NEC) will face another tough road test on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in Maryland, as they face Mount St. Mary’s (10-14, 6-5 NEC) to try and stay at the top of the NEC standings.

With the Merrimack University Warriors (16-9, 10-2 NEC) losing their last game in overtime to Long Island University (11-13, 6-5 NEC), RMU is one step closer to being the outright leader in the conference with the Warriors ineligible for the NEC tournament.

Recapping Robert Morris

The Colonials have found ways all season long to pull out tough games in conference play. Despite losing to Merrimack by four at home and St. Francis Brooklyn (11-13, 5-7 NEC ), 78-57, two games later, Robert Morris has stood strong in the NEC.

The team’s non-conference record was also lacking, but once conference competition began, RMU appears to be stronger from their early season losses. Even though most wins have been close, especially against teams having bad seasons, the team has stuck together throughout the season.

The Colonials have found a way to win in more ways than one, and they have completed multiple different comebacks, making this 2019-20 season very unique.

Robert Morris narrowly defeated Sacred Heart University (14-11, 7-5 NEC) with a 61-58 score to be the second team in the NEC to acheive double-digit wins.

Scouting Mount St. Mary’s

The Mount has struggled to find their footing these past two weeks and, as a result, fell to sixth in the conference standings. After winning five in a row starting in mid-January, Mount St. Mary’s lost three of their last four games, including a loss at St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday.

The team’s shooting statistics are not great, but they get the job done in short stints. The team overall shoots 39.8% from the floor and 69.2% from the foul line. The Mount is a great home team, 7-3 this season, but has struggled mightily on the road, only winning three of 14 games in the 2019-20 season.

This middle of the pack NEC team needs to play more consistently, as they did during their five-game win streak, if they are going to pull off the upset and will have the chance to at home.

Players to Watch

Jon Williams (Robert Morris)

Josh Williams usually holds the spotlight, but brother Jon Williams has been turning it on as of late. The junior guard is only averaging 6.5 points per game but shoots an impressive team-high 43.6% from behind the arc. Williams plays good defense and will be looked at as an important role player for RMU Thursday.

Dante Treacy (Robert Morris)

Sophomore guard Dante Treacy has been a consistent ball-handler and facilitator for the Colonials this season. Treacy is fourth on the team with 8.3 PPG, up 5.9 points from last season, and also seen his assists spike to 4.7 per game. Watch for Treacy to yet again push the pace and help spread the floor for Robert Morris.

Damian Chong Qui (Mount St. Mary’s)

Chong Qui is having a breakout year for The Mount this season. The sophomore guard has been the best overall player on this struggling team. He is averaging 12.7 PPG, 3.9 rebounds per game and 4.0 APG. Chong Qui will be the key reason if Mount St. Mary’s wins this critical home game.

Jalen Gibbs (Mount St. Mary’s)

Junior guard Jalen Gibbs has been another important threat for The Mount in 2019-20. Gibbs is scoring 11.7 PPG and pulls down an average of 4.0 RPG, playing the most minutes out of anyone else on the roster. He will be another player to watch with major potential on Thursday.

Prediction

The Colonials have been on a roll as of late and have won five in a row, all against NEC competition. They have struggled against their foes, however, especially at home against the bottom of the conference.

This is a crucial game against a historically tough opponent for RMU to stay at the top of the NEC standings. Robert Morris will once again find a way to secure another victory Thursday and continue their hold on the rest of the competition and conference opponents.

RMU 68-60