Robert Morris Overcomes Antoine Davis, Defeats Detroit Mercy for First Time in Program History


Antoine Davis had 29 points and shot 9-11 from three-point land and had seven turnovers in the game

Aiden Dine

MOON TOWNSHIP– Robert Morris (10-12, 5-6 Horizon) secured a huge win for the team’s morale Friday night with an 85-77 victory over Detroit Mercy (8-14, 4-7). The game was a total team win and included great efforts from several players in the Colonials lineup.

Kahliel Spear had a signature tough performance putting up 25 points, four rebounds and four assists, with two blocks and two steals. His leadership and strong, steady performance buoyed RMU over Detroit Mercy.

After the game, Spear spoke about the game and mentality,

“Having a short-term memory definitely does help. When you’re playing someone that talented, you gotta just respect them and know that they’re gonna make some tough shots.”

RMU also got strong contributions from Josh Corbin and Jackson Last, who each made several threes, with Corbin having 20 points, four rebounds and three assists and Last putting up 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals as well, making his presence felt on the defensive end.

The game opened with a 10-2 run by RMU highlighted by a chase-down block from Enoch Cheeks and a pair of Jackson Last three-pointers that helped stretch RMU’s lead early.

However, Antoine Davis caught fire, making four threes in a row and although RMU had a couple of baskets, they now found themselves down 15-12.

Davis would make two more threes early in the half, while Jackson Last added another to his total to push back against his reign of terror from beyond the arc.

RMU answered with back-to-back Josh Corbin threes to make it a one-point game, two of three threes the guard would make in the first half. to help cut the lead down to just one point for Detroit Mercy, a number that held up at halftime.

In the first half, RMU relied on Jackson Last and Josh Corbin’s three-point shooting to account for 18 points, with both getting nine points on three makes. Spear also could tally eight points of his own, all coming on inside looks.

Antoine Davis carried Detroit Mercy’s scoring in the first half getting 18 of their 33 points. None of their other contributors had managed over five points and only one other player, Gerald Liddell, with five points, had made more than one basket.

Enock Cheeks and Michael Green struggled to get much going in the first half going 1/12 from the field and Cheeks accounted for all of the duo’s four points that they accounted for in the first half.

RMU outscored Detroit 13-7 early in the second half on the back of some physical play from Kahliel Spear and some nice shooting from Corbin and Last to help build a small 45-39 lead in the second half.

In the second half Michael Green seemingly woke up from a bit of a funk and managed a very nice 13 points and three assists all coming in the second half, he was a key contributor in the team’s win tonight.

Kahliel Spear scored 25 points in the 85-77 win over Detroit Mercy Photo credit: Alec Miller

Late in the second half though, Josh Corbin continued to dominate on the outside and knocked down two more threes to get him to 18 points on the night. He would get to 20 on the night later with a couple of free throws.

Right out of the last media timeout, both teams scored five points before the last minute, meaning it was still a six-point game with a minute to go. Detroit Mercy assessed a technical foul with 25 seconds left and Corbin knocked down both free throws to give RMU an eight-point lead.

After the technical, Detroit Mercy fouled Spear sending him to the line where he would get his 25th point on the night, putting Robert Morris up 10, sealing the 85-77 win.

RMU won the game by moving the ball better offensively and limiting Detroit Mercy’s offensive efficiency in distributing their scoring. Antoine Davis was able to hit the three-ball but only had three assists and seven turnovers, showing that RMU could limit him outside of his perimeter shooting on the night.

Head coach Andy Toole spoke after trying to limit Davis

“We were trying to get the ball out of his hands as much as we could.” He noted the Colonials did struggle to do so a bit tonight but did do good to, at times, limit him to some uncomfortable shots and bad decisions.

This win could go a long way toward building some momentum for RMU going into three games in a row at home and several games against conference opponents..

The Colonials’ next action will be on Sunday, Jan. 29, against Oakland at the UPMC Event Center, with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m.