Recent history didn't repeat itself on Friday night in Charlotte, NC. The Robert Morris Colonials were unable to muster another upset against the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the South Region. They had a few moments, but it was a complete performance by Duke from start to finish.
One of those moments for Robert Morris happened in the opening minutes. A jumper by junior guard Rodney Pryor gave his team a 2-0 lead, and immediately got their best perimeter scorer in a rhythm. Moments later, a triple by freshman guard Marcquise Reed after a Blue Devils' turnover again gave the Colonials the lead and got their most prolific scorer going. But things unraveled from there.
Senior guard Quinn Cook connected on three triples going into the first media timeout, and all of a sudden, Duke had a 16-9 lead. That's when the dunk show started for the Blue Devils along with a ton of layups. From the 12:51 mark until the 6:17 mark, every field goal Duke made was either a dunk or a layup. They kept the momentum going on route to a 42-25 lead going into the half.
Credit RMU for hanging tough after the half. They were down 20 points going into the first media timeout of the second half, 54-34. It would have been easy for them to fold, but that's not how they got here. A three-pointer by Pryor started a 12-2 run that brought Robert Morris within 10 of the Blue Devils with 11:55 remaining.
But Duke answered with a 14-2 run that slammed the door on a potential Colonials comeback and took the wind out of their sails. RMU played tough until the final buzzer, but didn't have enough against a bigger, more athletic team.
Pryor led Robert Morris with 23 points on 10-19 shooting including 3-6 from three-point distance. Reed was second on the team with 22 points on 9-22 from the floor.
Freshman center Jahlil Okafor was an absolute monster; there was no one that could even bother him around the rim. His 21 points came on a super efficient 9-11 from the floor. Cook had a team-high 22 points on 8-12 from the field and was 6-10 from long distance.
Fellow freshman, forward Justise Winslow, had a very good all-around game. He had just six points, but had a game-high 11 rebounds, and tied with a game-high seven assists. Five players scored in double-figures for the Blue Devils.