Both feet were on the gas pedal for the Robert Morris Colonials on Thursday night as they completely thrashed the Wagner Seahawks. The 91-59 victory guaranteed themselves a top-four seed in the upcoming NEC Tournament and moved them one step closer to securing two home games as well.
Senior guard/forward Lucky Jones knew exactly why his team was so successful on the offensive end, "Our main key was making the extra pass and playing unselfishly."
Robert Morris finished the game with twice as many assists as turnovers, 21-9. The open looks that the extra passes generated helped the Colonials shoot 54% from the floor and 64% from beyond the arc.
Wagner never found their footing, as senior guard Marcus Burton was held scoreless in the first half. Jones didn't feel that his team defended Burton any different from their previous meeting, "We basically did the same thing. He's actually been shooting bad lately. We tried not to let him to have this game to get back to where he was at during the beginning of conference (play)."
Head coach Andy Toole added, "We only gave him a couple of clean looks. Obviously he's a guy who's at the top of our scouting report that we didn't want to give opportunities too. I thought we did a good job of making him take some tough shots."
By the time the leading scorer in the conference, Burton, connected on his first basket of the game at the 16:20 mark in the second half, the damage had already been done.
A 44-29 lead by RMU at halftime quickly swelled to a 56-32 advantage after junior guard Rodney Pryor drilled a triple right after the first media timeout. Pryor has been on fire for Robert Morris over the last three games: he's averaging 26.7 points per game over that span and has drained 12 triples on 17 attempts.
On his hot shooting as of late, Pryor said, "Mentally and physically I am where I need to be going into the post season: shooting the ball well, guys are finding me, getting open looks. When I see the ball go in, it just raises my confidence and I have to make sure I am staying aggressive."
Pryor's five three-pointers were a part of the team's 14 total makes from beyond the arc; 10 were in the second half. Their accuracy from long distance combined with the Seahawks making just eight baskets in the second half led to the lopsided victory.
Given the NEC standings going into the game on Thursday, Toole knew his team came up huge when it mattered, "It was a game that we needed."
While he was proud of his team's victory, he expressed the need to keep his team focused going into this weekend, "I think it's important that we focus on tomorrow and focus on Saturday."
Pryor led all scorers with 25 points on 7-10 from the floor, and 5-6 from deep. Freshman guard Marcquise Reed added 20 points, while Jones scored 15 points and had a team-high eight rebounds.
Freshman guard Corey Henson led Wagner with 10 points on 4-9 from the field before fouling out.
Robert Morris will play the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash (15-13, 9-8) on Saturday. The Seahawks will finish conference play on the road with a showdown at the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (14-14, 10-7) on Saturday.