Enoch Cheeks Career Night Propels Robert Morris Over Purdue Fort Wayne

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The team huddles during the 75-70 win over Purdue Fort Wayne Photo credit: Alec Miller

By Alec Miller, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP — The Colonials came into this matchup after the break seeking a big conference win. Robert Morris (7-7, 2-1 Horizon League) welcomes Purdue Fort Wayne (9-5, 1-2 Horizon League) to the UPMC Events Center, getting a narrow victory, 75-77.

The pace of conference play is always fast but when it is your first game back from a break you want to make sure you set the pace of the game.

“I thought it was too fast for us early to be honest, with about five minutes to go in the first half, I said this is their pace,” Toole said. “They would rather play at a much more free-flowing pace than we usually do. But I thought the second half was a little bit more our pace, a little more possession by possession. They did have a couple run-outs to start the second half, but I thought it was a little bit more our pace in the second half.”

RMU had 20 points from turnovers and 15 points off of fast breaks. This was a big help for the Colonials coming in big situations.

“It is something that we don’t get a ton of, so it was nice to get a couple of runouts. Obviously, Enoch had a couple of them, Jackson had that one at the end of the first half that we didn’t end up scoring on, but we ended up scoring at the end of the half. Any time you can get an easy basket like that, it’s helpful and obviously, with a team that has such good offensive rhythm and flow like Fort Wayne, sometimes those turnovers can be disruptive to their offensive,” coach Toole said.

Kahliel Spear had a big night with 10 points, six total rebounds and four assists. But tonight, he was able to get his 1,000 college points.

Kahliel Spear scored his 1,000th point in his collegiate career in the win against Purdue Fort Wayne (Photo by Alec Miller)

“It feels great; I knew that ending the last game I finished with 999 was one point away; it was fitting that I started at the free throw line tonight, so I was able to get it right there. Kind of celebrated internally, but it was right back to business after that trying to get this win,” Spear said.

Towards the end of the game, the Colonials were getting tested on the defensive side of the ball and more specifically, their interior defense and how they protected the paint was a big part of this win. Kahliel spoke on the defense down the stretch of the game.

“That’s something I have to be able to deliver on a nightly basis, I hold myself to a high standard and I just know what I’m capable of and what I can do on the court. Might say I had a productive game today but I don’t feel like I did as well as I could’ve, but I tried to do what I could to help my team today and if that’s rebounding or blocking shots, that’s what I’ll do or if that’s scoring points that’s what I’ll do.”

Enoch Cheeks led the way for the Colonials with a career-high 24 points, which propelled the team toward their victory. Hard work pays off for him and it is showing on the court.

“It feels good just to know hard work is paying off. Just continue to work and continue to get better during the offseason and during the season and continue to grow,” Cheeks said.

Robert Morris will welcome Cleveland State on Saturday, Dec. 31, for another Horizon league matchup starting at 3:00 p.m. at the UPMC Events Center.