Green’s season high fuels Robert Morris win over Green Bay


Michael Green III charges to the hoop against Green Bay. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

Kevin Plowcha

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris (5-16, 3-9 Horizon) took on Green Bay (4-16, 3-8) Saturday night at the UPMC Events Center.

RMU was looking for their first two-game winning streak of the season after taking down Milwaukee Thursday night.

RMU looked to establish their defense early on, but the game remained evenly matched to start. A three-pointer by Michael Green III gave the Colonials their first lead of the night three minutes into the first half, and the Colonials led by one at the first media timeout.

The Colonials ended their next two possessions with three-pointers by Tristian Jeffries and Kahliel Spear, respectively, but jumpers from Nate Jenkins and Cade Meyer of Green Bay allowed them to keep it close.

Both teams were on fire early on from the floor. At the second media timeout, RMU was shooting 75 percent from the floor, while the Phoenix were shooting 54 percent.

After eight minutes, the score was in favor of RMU.

The great shooting percentages were bound to drop off at some point, and during the next four-minute stretch, they did just that. RMU made just two of their next ten shots while Green Bay made one of their next seven.

This resulted in a low-scoring section of the game, but RMU still led 22-16 at the next media timeout.

The shooting woes continued to plague the Colonials during the next four-minute stretch, and Green Bay found a little bit of rhythm.

RMU scored just one point over the next four minutes, and at the final media timeout of the first half, the lead for RMU was cut from six to one.

After starting six for eight from the floor, RMU made just three of their next twenty-one shots and had five turnovers in the first half compared to Green Bay’s two.

However, despite all of that working against the Colonials, Green Bay wasn’t able to take complete advantage and only led by one point at the break.

Head coach Andy Toole spoke about the defensive effort to keep the game close despite the offensive struggles.

“These last couple games, I thought guys have done a really good job of trying to lock down,” Toole said. “A few of the effort plays that decide winning and losing, we made tonight.”

The Colonials came out looking much better to start the second half. A three by Michael Green III followed by an Enoch Cheeks layup gave RMU a two-point lead early on.

RMU’s lead was quickly stretched to eight points, capping off an 11-0 run by the Colonials to give them their largest lead of the night at the first media timeout of the second half.

Green Bay wasn’t going away, though. Despite the run, Green Bay continued to keep pace with the Colonials over the next stretch and cut the deficit from eight to six at the second media timeout.

Fouls were an issue for the Colonials tonight. They had 24 fouls throughout the game compared to just 15 for Green Bay.

A big reason the Phoenix stuck around was their free-throw shooting. RMU committed seven fouls in the first eight minutes of the half, meaning Green Bay was in the bonus for the last twelve minutes.

A ferocious dunk by Enoch Cheeks highlighted the next four minutes of play. The Phoenix stuck around due to the aforementioned free throws, but RMU still led 50-45 with seven and a half minutes left in the game.

Similar to the first half, the Colonials were starting to see fewer and fewer shots go through the hoop as the second half went on.

An “and-one” from Green Bay’s Japannah Kellogg III cut the Phoenix’s deficit to just two, 52-50, and that’s where the score stood with just under four minutes left in the game.

The Phoenix were able to make it a one-point game, with less than two minutes left. However, Michael Green III, as he did all night, came up with big shots when it mattered. Green hit a three-pointer to give RMU a four-point lead with 1:52 left.

Andy Toole also spoke about Green and his development this season.

“[Green] was able to get his feet set, really step in, and knock it down,” Toole said. “Obviously that last three-pointer was huge, and I thought he made some good plays.”

The Colonials followed that up by forcing a turnover, but couldn’t convert on their next possession. Green Bay cut the deficit to one again, 59-58, thanks to free throws.

Brandon Stone made two big free throws to extend RMU’s lead back to three, 61-58, with twenty-four seconds left.

A turnover by Green Bay on their next possession allowed RMU to get a fastbreak opportunity to close the game out, but Michael Green’s shot was blocked.

After a scramble for the loose ball, a traveling violation was called on Enoch Cheeks, giving Green Bay the ball down three with just under six seconds left.

The Colonials fouled Green Bay, but the Phoenix were able to make both free throws, making it a one-point game with 3.8 seconds left.

RMU was able to cleanly inbound the ball, and Michael Green III made one of two free throws to give the Colonials a two-point lead.

Green Bay’s half-court heave doesn’t fall and the Colonials win 62-60, giving them their first two-game winning streak of the season.

This is also RMU’s first two-game Horizon League winning streak since moving to the Horizon League.

RMU travels to Chicago, Illinois for their next matchup against UIC on Thursday.