Robert Morris falls in Cleveland


Michael Green III drives past Deshon Parker of Cleveland State. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

Ethan Morrison

CLEVELAND– After getting boat raced in Fort Wayne, Robert Morris (3-16, 1-9 Horizon) looked to get back in the win column Sunday afternoon against Cleveland State (13-4, 9-1).

After a strong first half and a good start to the second, the Colonials collapsed falling to the Vikings 75-68.

Head coach Andy Toole spoke on the team’s effort after the game.

“Much better fight [today], the game on Friday was unacceptable in terms of effort and focus and that is what we talked about in the past couple of days,” he said. “It was great to see them come out and fight, but again there were a couple of possessions where we couldn’t get done what we needed to get done and couldn’t seem to execute defensively or take care of the ball at times, and for a team like Cleveland State, they’re going to take advantage of that every time.”

To begin action, both teams traded missed shots but RMU got on the board thanks to Kahliel Spear, who threw down a vicious putback slam after Michael Green III missed a midrange jumper.

Spear tried to put back another missed shot but was called for offensive interference. At the under 16 media, RMU led by just one point.

Toole lauded the team’s effort on the boards, which has seen improvement recently.

“Everybody has responsibilities on every shot and guys did a good job on the glass with all the switching and all of the stuff they are doing defensively,” Toole said. “Sometimes that’s hard to box out after that so they did a good job getting to the glass and getting that second shot. We’ve got to do a better job at taking care of the ball and defending without fouling. They do a good job getting into your body, and we have to do a better job at moving our feet and cutting off some of their angles.”

The Colonials struggled taking care of the ball early on in the first half turning the ball over five times in the first nine minutes of action. Even though the turnovers plagued the Colonials they still got some production on the offensive end, shooting the ball at a 50 percent clip from the field at the under 12 media timeout.

After shooting the ball fairly well for the first 10 minutes of the first half, Robert Morris began to struggle from the field as they dipped below 40 percent shooting for the half as the clock approached halfway point.

That cold spell did not last long as Green and Brandon Stone hit from the outside to put some distance in between the two teams for the first time all game. With about three minutes to go in the half, Robert Morris led by five points.

After Stone hit the three-point shot, he was assessed a technical foul and after the technical free throws, the game was once again a one-possession affair.

Robert Morris took a five-point lead into the locker room as Green led the way in scoring in the first frame with eight. As for the Vikings, Tre Gomillion and Torrey Patton both had eight points to led their team in points in the first half.

Robert Morris was cooking to start off the second half as Jaron Williams converted an and-one to open up the scoring for the Colonials. Then, Enoch Cheeks hit from the outside to stretch the lead to eight points and by the first media timeout of the second half, Robert Morris led by six.

The Colonials broke out in a fast break and when Spear went up for a layup he was whacked and went down in a heap. He was sidelined was just a bit to get his shoulder wrapped up but he returned onto the court with 11:45 to go in the game.

Cleveland State cut down the Colonials lead in the coming possessions as Gomillion threw down an alley-oop to cut the Colonial lead to just one point at the under 12 media timeout.

The Vikings tied up the game for a brief moment, but Green put a defender on skates to give the Colonials the lead once again.

CSU broke the tie and regain control of the lead for the first time since late in the first half as Broc Finstuen converted on a layup to give the Vikings a three-point lead. At the under four media timeout, Cleveland State led by four.

Down the stretch, the Colonials struggled to hit their shots which allowed Cleveland State to pull away with the game at the end of it all.

Overall, the second half killed the Colonials as they finished shooting just 40 percent from the field. The Colonials shot a good clip from beyond the arc finishing 8/21.

RMU is back in action on Thursday when they take on Milwaukee back at the UPMC Events Center at 7:00 p.m.