Momentum is something that's nearly impossible to quantify, but exists to some degree in all major sports. For the Robert Morris Colonials, they continued their momentum from a successful road trip last week with a victory at home. For the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, things continued going in the wrong direction as they lost their seventh straight NEC game.
Fairleigh Dickinson was forced to go to their bench early in the game. Senior forward Darius Stokes and sophomore guard Matt MacDonald committed two fouls each within the first four minutes of the game. The Knights had whistles blown against them four times on Robert Morris' first three offensive possessions - not a great start.
From there, the Colonials simply got everything they wanted on the offensive end for the rest of the half. Despite shooting just 4-13 from beyond the arc, they still managed to convert 50% of their field goals because of their ability to score around the rim, which included two alley-oops.
FDU was only able to score seven points in the last six minutes of the half which allowed RMU to take a 41-28 lead into halftime.
Momentum is a funny thing, however. Generally, it rewards the team that tries the hardest to capture it. For the first four minutes of the second half, that team was Fairleigh Dickinson. They opened the half on a 7-0 run that cut the deficit to just six points.
However, Robert Morris regained their composure, and a layup by senior guard David Appolon ended the drought. Two turnovers by the Knights immediately afterwards resulted in five more points for the Colonials. A layup by freshman guard Marcquise Reed on RMU's next offensive possession pushed their lead back to 13.
Things unraveled for FDU from there: an uncontested three-pointer by senior guard/forward Lucky Jones at the 11:27 mark pushed the Robert Morris lead to 20 points. Fairleigh Dickinson was unable to get within single-digits the rest of the way, as the Colonials coasted to an easy 87-65 victory.
RMU was led by a game-high 28 points by junior guard Rodney Pryor on 10-14 from the floor and 7-10 from deep. His six triples in the second half ended any hopes that the Knights had of making a serious run late in the game. Pryor's 11 rebounds also gave him his first double-double in his short Robert Morris career.
FDU was led by 17 points off the bench by freshman guard Marques Townes.
On how Pryor snapped out of his mid-season shooting slump, "I had to get back on my rehab, and hit it more in a week. I felt like my legs were getting pretty weak."
Head coach Andy Toole was also complimentary of Pryor's shooting display, "He can really get going once he gets started."
While Toole was happy with the victory, he still believes there is work to be done, "The biggest step for us is to mature defensively."
The Colonials will need to be sharp defensively on Saturday in their matchup against the Bryant Bulldogs (9-10, 6-3) at home. Fairleigh Dickinson will travel to Loretto, PA to face the St. Francis University Red Flash (11-9, 5-4) on Saturday.