PREVIEW: Colonials look to get back on track hosting Northern Kentucky

Men%27s+basketball+returns+home+this+weekend+to+take+on+Northern+Kentucky.+Photo+Credit%3A+Ethan+Morrison

Men’s basketball returns home this weekend to take on Northern Kentucky. Photo Credit: Ethan Morrison

By Ethan Morrison, Assistant Sports Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa.– After dropping two games to UIC (7-4, 4-2 Horizon), Robert Morris (3-5, 2-3) looks for some home cooking as they take on struggling Northern Kentucky (5-8, 3-5) at the UPMC Events Center this weekend The games will take place January 22-23 at 7:00 p.m and 5:00 p.m., respectively.

Recapping the Colonials:

RMU got their first taste of in-game action last weekend after missing the past two weeks due to COVID-19 issues within the program. They struggled against the Flames in Chi-Town, dropping game one by a score of 67-53 and game two 66-62 in overtime.

The main problem for the Colonials in their last series against UIC was their outside shooting. Over the weekend, Robert Morris shot 3/27 which is just 11% on the road trip. For a team that has had success shooting the three-point shot earlier in the season, it was nonexistent against the Flames.

Although the Colonials struggled, head coach Andy Toole told Pittsburgh Sports Now after Saturday’s loss, “We gave ourselves chances, we had some opportunities that we did not take advantage of, and that is certainly a frustrating thing because the guys played hard enough to win the game but we’ve got to be a little bit smarter.”

Scouting the Norse:

Northern Kentucky has been on a rough stretch as of late as they dropped their last four games, most recently, they were swept at home against IUPUI (3-4, 2-4), dropping game one 74-69, and game two 65-63. They look to get back on track against Robert Morris this weekend.

Players to Watch

AJ Bramah (RMU) – Bramah has established himself as one of the premier talents in the Horizon League throughout the first month of league play, leading the league in scoring and rebounds-per-game. The California native is now averaging a double-double on the year putting up 21 points and 10 rebounds per game.

The senior was an integral part of the Colonials offense last weekend against the Flames when their perimeter shooting went ice cold. Bramah put together two impressive performances in the series. In game one, Bramah put up 19 points and 14 rebounds, and in the finale of the series, the forward logged 23 points and 16 rebounds. This is now Bramah’s third consecutive double-double on the season.

It will be interesting to see if Northern Kentucky will do anything to stop Bramah, who has been a major force on the Robert Morris offense.

Dante Treacy (RMU) – The junior from Florida has been on a rough stretch as of late scoring just ten points overall in the past three games. The 2019-20 Northeast Conference Tournament MVP recipient has not looked like his normal self, shooting just 31-percent from the field.

Treacy needs to step up his game especially after the way the backcourt has performed as a whole over the past two games.

Trevon Faulkner (NKU) – Faulkner has led the way for the Norse this season, averaging 16 points per game. The one knock on the junior guard’s play this season is that he has struggled from long range, shooting just 19 percent on the year. Most of his scoring has come from the inside. Robert Morris will have to be on the lookout for Faulkner in this series.

Adrian Nelson (NKU) – Nelson has been a key piece in the Norse’s frontcourt this season averaging 10.2 rebounds. He has also shown that he can get the job done on the offensive side of the ball as well averaging seven points per game. The Colonials will have to be wary of Nelson down low this weekend if they want to have success rebounding the ball.

Prediction:

Both teams have been on a rough stretch as of late, with that being said I believe that the Colonials will still be trying to figure out their offense in Friday night’s contest, but on Saturday they will put together a complete performance and get back on track.

The Norse will take game one 70-66, while the Colonials will take game two by a score of 74-64.