Colonials rally to snap two-game skid


Photo Credit: David Auth

Samuel Goldberg, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– The Robert Morris Colonials (15-13, 11-4 NEC) took on the Mount Saint Mary’s Mountaineers (10-18, 6-9 NEC) in what turned into a highly competitive game.

The Mount’s Jalen Gibbs set the tempo by knocking down big shots to start the game. This pushed the Mountaineers to a 14-5 lead.

The Colonials drew closer, but The Mount answered every time the Colonials made a bucket.

After pulling the lead to within three, both teams traded jumpers. Ultimately, a steal and score for the Mount extended the halftime lead to five, leaving the Colonials a decent amount of work to do.

“The team really struggled with defense in the early stages of the game,” said head coach Andy Toole.

“We really did not communicate that well in the first half and that is why they were always open,” stated Josh Williams after the game.

Communication was key for the Colonials in the second half.

Toole emphasized this by saying “Going into halftime, that was what my main focus was with these guys, I told them to communicate and help each other, and we will win this game.”

The Colonials began fighting back with better results in the second half. They started off by turning the ball over frequently, making their comeback more and more challenging. Just four minutes into the half, however, Josh Williams would hit a three and tie up the game.

The Mount would hit two quick jumpers to pull away by four. After quicker back and forth play from both teams, Jalen Hawkins hit a three to give the Colonials their first lead of the game with just 12 minutes to play.

“Jalen was huge when he hit that three, he really sparked the guys with that shot,” said Josh Williams.

“Ultimately this game was a scrappy late February conference game, and it showed. But we got back to our Colonial type of basketball, and it was great to watch,” stated Toole.

With just under four minutes left to play in the second half, the Mountaineers struck again with a Morse three; the game was now tied up, 57-57.

The next possession, RMU was going through their play, but no one was open and the shot clock was running down.

Josh Williams, with the ball in his hands, knocked down the biggest shot of the night; a three that was at least five feet from the three-point line.

With the crowd going wild, the Colonials played really tight defense for the final few minutes.

They shut the door on the Mountaineers as their seconds ran out. The Colonials held The Mount to just three points in the final four minutes, leading to the 68-60 win.

The Colonials were led by Josh Williams, who had 22 points, and Yannis Mendy with 13. The Mount was led by Jalen Gibbs with 19 and Vado Morse with 10.

RMU’s men’s basketball will return to the hardwood at Farleigh Dickinson University (8-16, 6-9 NEC), 1 p.m. this Sunday.