Michael Green’s Double-Double Leads Robert Morris Past IUPUI

The+team+huddles+during+the+77-70+win+over+IUPUI+Photo+credit%3A+Julia+Wasielewski

The team huddles during the 77-70 win over IUPUI Photo credit: Julia Wasielewski

By Colby Sherwin, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– After dropping the last game of 2022 and the first game of 2023, the Robert Morris men’s basketball team was looking to pick up the first win in the new year, and get back to .500 as they took on IUPUI (3-13, 0-5 Horizon League) was in search of their first Horizon League win of the season.

Even after a rough second half, the Colonials were able to take down the Jaguars 77-70.

Graduate forward Kahliel Spear spoke on how important getting back in the win column was after a two-game skid,

“It feels good to get the win. We had a two-game skid against Cleveland State and Youngstown State. It’s going to happen during the year. But when you hit adversity, it’s good that we can face it and overcome it,” Spear said after the team’s victory.

The Jaguars were able to jump out to a slim lead. This was due to Jlynn Counter, the Sophomore guard could net five points with quick ball movement.

As the Colonials needed points quickly, they turned to the familiar name Enoch Cheeks. His fast pace play helped the team jump in front. As the Colonials grew the lead, IUPUI wouldn’t go down without a fight. IUPUI’s Chris Osten had a sneaky good half as he was able to help them stay close. Nearing the end of the half, RMU turned up the heat. Michael Green III threw a no-look pass to Spear as the lead grew.

Michael Green III had 12 points and 11 assists in the 77-70 win over IUPUI (Photo by Julia Wasielewski)

“My teammates were getting open,” Green said. “I know that they will make shots too, when I pass it to them. I can’t get the assist without them hitting shots.” Green spoke about his 11-assist performance. He also added, “I just want to say that he (Kahliel Spear ) is the best score in the Horizon League.”

The Colonials turned up the pressure when it came to defense, as they were able to cause ten first-half turnovers. They were also able to hold IUPUI to 39 percent shooting. As time went to a close, Josh Corbin hit a buzzer-beater to end the half. 44-29.

“I thought welcome out well in the first, especially at the end… We jumped out to a lead credit to IUPUI. They fought hard and made it close,” Head coach Andy Toole spoke about the team’s game.

Coming out of the locker room, a cold spell by the Colonials let the Jaguars back in the game. In just three minutes, IUPUI cut the lead to 11. The second half was not kind to RMU as they began the half going one for six and letting IUPUI cut the lead to nine.

IUPUI kept up the heat as they counted to claw back. As they brought up their shooting percentage in the second half and rebounded. The wave kept coming as the lead shrunk to within one point. By the eight-minute mark in the second half, RMU only hit two shots from the field.

“One thing I want to improve on is keeping up the pressure when we get leads. We tend to let our ground down, or teams adjust to us and we need to do a better job making the changes,” Toole said.

IUPUI was able to tie the game. The cold spell and slew of fowls helped the Jaguars climb back in this one. When the Colonials needed a basket the most, Enoch Cheeks hit a three to give the lead back. RMU was able to close the game out and win for the third time in league play.

Robert Morris will begin a four-game road trip when they take on Oakland in Rochester, Michigan, at 7 p.m. on Thursday.