Slow Start Plague Robert Morris’ Comeback Effort Against Marshall

Michael+Green+III+scored+his+1%2C000th+point+against+in+the+69-60+loss+to+Marshall+Photo+credit%3A+Ethan+Morrison

Michael Green III scored his 1,000th point against in the 69-60 loss to Marshall Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

By Cam Wickline, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– The Robert Morris Men’s basketball team (4-7, 1-1 HORIZON) welcomed the Marshall Thundering Herd (9-1) to the UPMC Events Center in front of a large crowd but fell by a final score of 69-60.

The matchup was a tale of two halves, as the Colonials could not get anything going offensively in the first half. They were outscored to the tune of a 30-16 deficit.

While one player does not dictate a whole game, Kahliel Spear drew two fouls six minutes into the game, forcing head coach Andy Toole to sit him down for most of the first half. The Colonials proved to be a different team without him, as the score was 10-4 in favor of Marshall when Spear sat down and was 23-9 by the time Spear came back in.

Toole spoke on Spear’s absence from the floor during the first half, which set the team back,

“Kahliel [Spear] being out for a large majority of that stretch hurt us because you have to be able to get some opportunities at the rim, and he’s obviously our best interior finisher. We needed Kahliel’s ability to score. In the second half, he went aggressively to the rim a couple times and made some really positive plays.”

To go along with Spear’s foul trouble, the shooters of the team had a rough first half. The Colonials shot 20 percent from the field and only made one three-point shot in the opening half.

Stephaun Walker had a double-double in the 69-60 loss to Marshall Saturday night (Photo by Ethan Morrison)

Josh Corbin, the Colonials’ main three-point shooter, struggled to get anything going in the first half to the tune of an 0-4 performance.

The offense struggled and Toole expressed that Marshall’s size made it tough for the offense to get into a rhythm.

“They go 6’9”, 7’1”, 6’5” with a 42-inch vertical, Jacob Conner comes of the bench and he’s 6’8”, Fricks comes off the bench and he’s 6’9”, and they’re long as can be and they switch out. So it makes it hard for you to get clean looks from three or to get all the way to the rim. We had some opportunities at the rim at times but Micah Handlogten was able to either block the shot or affect the shot. Some of the perimeter looks I thought we had that were pretty clean, all of a sudden you shoot it a little quicker because you’re not completely comfortable because you have a lot of size and length coming at you.”

The second half of the game was much more even between the two teams, with RMU out-scoring Marshall 44-39.

The Colonials managed to fix their shooting woes coming out of the locker room, shooting 51 percent from the field.

The Colonials comeback effort was led by a two man team of Enoch Cheeks and Stephaun Walker, who scored 15 and 13 points respectively in the second half.

In all, the 14-point deficit from the first half would be too much to overcome, as the Colonials would not be able to complete the comeback.

The Colonials have more than a week-long break until they travel to Mount St. Mary’s on Dec. 18 at 2 p.m..