Oscar Tshiebwe and Kentucky roll past Colonials in Toole-Calipari round three


Tyler Gallo

Rasheem Dunn is flanked by TyTy Washington Jr. during Friday’s game. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

Ethan Morrison

LEXINGTON, Ky.– Robert Morris’ (0-2) second stop on their three-game road swing was a matchup against no. 10 Kentucky (1-1) on Friday night at Rupp Arena as part of the Kentucky Classic MTE.

Kentucky was just too much to handle for the Colonials in this one as they won easily by a score of 100-60.

“Kentucky played an outstanding game.” head coach Andy Toole said after the loss. “They were responsible for us not playing very well and I think we were partially not responsible for us playing well. The amount of pressure that they put on you all over the floor over 40 minutes [is huge] and we can’t replicate when we prepare.”

Junior forward for Kentucky Oscar Tshiebwe was a menace down low, posting a double-double, scoring 14 and posting 20 rebounds on the night. Toole spoke on how effective Tshiebwe was in tonight’s matchup.

“He goes every time. The best rebounders go all the time, he usually doesn’t leave the paint at all during the possession so he’s already there which makes it hard when you can’t move him anywhere and he’s allowed to stand in front of the rim,” Toole said. “There were possessions tonight where he didn’t leave the paint at all and it didn’t have anything to do with the outcome of the game but it makes it hard to wedge him out or box him out.”

The Wildcats started off the game on a 12-2 run getting points off of a Kellan Grady three-point shot to open up the game and then a few buckets down low.

RMU had troubles once again with ball control, turning the ball over three times in the first four minutes of the game.

Out of the media timeout, Robert Morris came out with some urgency, converting on free throws and turning defensive into offensive thanks to a Michael Green steal which led to a goaltending call on Kentucky. At the under 12 media timeout, Robert Morris was just down six points.

The Wildcats took advantage of some poor shot selection from the Colonials as they enjoyed a 10-3 run before Robert Morris head coach Andy Toole called a timeout.

Shortly after the Robert Morris timeout, Robert Morris started to get into a rhythm as Ferron Flavors Jr. hit a shot from downtown and a Kahliel Spear turnover forced Kentucky head coach John Calipari to call the Wildcats’ first timeout of the half with RMU only down eight.

After the UK timeout, the Wildcats as a Sahvir Wheeler and Dontaie Allen three-point field goal put Robert Morris deep in a hole with under four minutes to play in the half.

With seconds remaining in the first half Jaron Williams turned the ball over to Grady which he converted into points, but Green pulled up and nailed a three-point shot as time expired to cut Kentucky lead down to 16.

TyTy Washington and Grady led the way for the Wildcats in the scoring department with 10 points apiece. As for the Colonials, Green was red hot in the first half shooting five-for-seven from the field and hit two-of-two from the outside to lead the team with 12 points.

Robert Morris shot the ball at a 40-percent clip from the field compared to the Wildcats’ 56-percent. Both teams shot 33-percent from beyond the arc.

Rebounding was all Kentucky in the first half as they outrebounded the Colonials 23-10.

RMU struggled to start the second half giving up four points early on. Justin Winston and Grady traded three-point buckets to give the Wildcats a 17 point lead by the under 16 media timeout in the second half.

Kentucky was dominant for a majority of the next eight minutes as they hit three three-point field goals in that span, increasing their lead by seven to lead by 24 points with 10:21 left in the game.

UK continued to hit shot after shot, extending their lead to 31 with 7:15 remaining in the half. Davion Mintz came out hot in the half going 4-for-5 on three-point attempts in that stretch.

Kentucky cruised to a 100-60 win with some flamboyant alley-oops to reach the century mark.

Overall, Robert Morris shot 37-percent from the field compared to Kentucky’s 57-percent. Kentucky had the three-point shot working, shooting the ball at a 52-percent clip from beyond the arc and knocking down 12 triples in the game.

As for Robert Morris, they shot the ball from deep better than in the UCF matchup, shooting 31-percent from three.

The Colonials conclude their three-game road trip on Monday when they embark on their second leg of the Kentucky Classic, taking on Ohio at 7:00 p.m. in Athens.