It's hard to beat a team three times in the same season, at least that's what conventional wisdom suggests. Clearly, the Robert Morris Colonials don't care about such a cautionary notion. For the second time in two weeks they blew out the Wagner Seahawks; this time by 23 points.
After a defensive stop by Wagner after the opening tip, junior forward Stedman Allen converted an and-one opportunity on a possession in which four players touched the ball. But a three-pointer by freshman guard Marcquise Reed off a Seahawks turnover gave Robert Morris the lead, and they never looked back.
Bashir Mason was proud of his team, but recognized he ran into a better team Wednesday night, "That Robert Morris team is really good and they're going to go deep in the NEC Tournament, have a great chance to win this thing."
The Colonials lead swelled to 19 points after senior guard/forward Lucky Jones converted two free throws at the 4:26 mark, 39-20. Credit Wagner for not giving in. Not only did they hold RMU scoreless for the remainder of the half, but they used an 8-0 run to close within 11 when the buzzer sounded, 39-28 Robert Morris.
A slow start to the second half by the Colonials allowed the Seahawks to get within single-digits after the second free throw by Junior center Mike Aaman. Jones decided it was time to put the game away. He scored 14 straight points for RMU that opened up a 64-47 lead at the 8:09 mark, and all but sealed it.
On his hot shooting during that stretch, Jones said, "I credit my teammates for finding me, obviously, when I was open, and I was ready to shoot every time."
Jones led all scorers with a game-high 27 points on 8-12 shooting. He was 5-6 from beyond the arc and 6-6 from the charity stripe. Reed added 22 points, while junior guard Rodney Pryor finished with 15 points and a game-high 7 assists.
On Jones' performance, head coach Andy Toole talked about Jones' preparation going into the game, "Lucky was the first guy on the floor this afternoon for shoot-around. He was in the office last night watching film with our assistants getting ready for the game. He shot the ball really well today during shoot-around and I felt that if he could get some good looks, he'd be in a good rhythm. That's exactly what he did."
Wagner was led by Aaman and senior guard Marcus Burton, both with 19 points. The former led the team with eight rebounds as well.
Robert Morris advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament and will play the Bryant Bulldogs (17-14, 13-6) on Saturday at noon. The St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (23-10, 15-3) will play the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash (17-14, 9-9) on Saturday.