Robert Morris Takes Down Old NEC Foe Saint Francis

Enoch+Cheeks+had+23+points+in+the+77-66+win+over+St.+Francis+Photo+credit%3A+Kyle+Le

Enoch Cheeks had 23 points in the 77-66 win over St. Francis Photo credit: Kyle Le

By Alec Miller, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP — Robert Morris Colonials (6-7, 1-1 Horizon) played a hard-fought game going back and forth with rival Saint Francis (3-10) to get the win 77-66 before their break over the holidays.

The game’s story was the Colonials’ interior defense as Saint Francis had 14 offensive rebounds and 32 points in the paint. Saint Francis forward Josh Cohen had 28 points and seven offensive rebounds.

Head coach Andy Toole talked about Saint Francis player Josh Cohen.

“He averages 21, and he’s had 40 twice and he had 30 on Miami. We don’t want him to get 28, but he gets the ball every other possession at worst, and he puts a lot of pressure on you. And I thought Steph [Stephaun] Walker getting in foul trouble hurt our interior defense.”

Matt Mayers was one of the players of the game, he contributed ten points, but most of his efforts came on the glass where he put up five offensive rebounds and four defensive rebounds.

“I thought the second half was one of the best halves he’s played here. And a lot of it started down with his energy on the defensive side. One of the things we did talk about was trying to get to our own offensive glass, at times in the first half we didn’t really do that.”

Kahliel Spear had 14 points in the 77-66 win over St. Francis

Also, with his performance putting up good stats tonight, Matt’s effort and energy level helped the team by lifting the team up on the court. So, besides his stats Mayers did a lot to put a lot of energy in his game tonight and Toole was pleased with his output in the second half of action.

“Those kinds of plays Matt made where he had those multiple offensive rebounds on the same possession, he had that offensive rebound where he got fouled. There’s so much value in that it’s amazing and it energized Matt and that then energized the guys on the court with him and it energized the bench and the crowd. It’s the choice you make that you are going to give that kind of effort.”

Trey James was playing in his second game of the season tonight, coming off of a long injury. Playing seven minutes trying to knock off some of the rest from when he missed time.

Toole discussed the impact James will have going into conference play.

“He’s got a lot of rust. He was out for an extended period and as much as you try to do what you can do on the side it is never the same. I think there is going to be some ups and downs. The thing about trey is that it is never going to be pretty, it’s just not part of his game but there is always going to be a maximum effort. So just continuing to understand some areas where he’s got to be able to execute better on offense and defense.”

The Colonials were again led by the junior Enoch Cheeks, who had 23 points tonight in 29 minutes, going 8-14 from the field and 1-3 behind the arc.

Enoch is continuing to have a great season, building on his season average of 16.2 points per game.

Saint Francis is a big rival of the Colonials and always gives the Colonials a good test. Continuing this rivalry for RMU always gives them a big test before they get into conference play.

The Colonials will get an eight-day break before a big conference game comes up when they host Purdue Fort Wayne on December 29th at 7 p.m. at the UPMC Events Center.