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Robert Morris Colonials Fall to Sacred Heart, 69-65

The Robert Morris Colonials (2-12. 0-1) fell flat against the Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-10, 1-0) at home on Saturday to open NEC play.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams looked out of sorts to start the game; the Robert Morris Colonials turned the ball over on their first two possessions, while the Sacred Heart Pioneers registered three turnovers on their first four possessions.  By the under-16 media timeout, the score was 8-2 in favor of Robert Morris.

Sacred Heart quickly got back into the game thanks to sophomore guard Cane Broome.  A pair of free throws got Broome on the board, and a breakaway layup off a steal a few possessions later opened up the basket for him.  The Pioneers were also helped by a surprise six points from senior forward Eyimofe Edukugho off the bench.

On the lift Edukugho gave his team off the bench, head coach Anthony Latina opened by stating how efficient he's been over the last two games and went on to say, "He's another weapon that we've gained more confidence in."

Robert Morris kept pace thanks to the play of junior point guard Kavon Stewart.  He either scored or assisted on every Colonials field goal, other than one, from the under-12 timeout until there was just 52 seconds left in the half.  Both sophomore Elijah Minnie and Rodney Pryor got going towards the end of the half for RMU as well.  Combined, the duo scored the last nine points of the half, and allowed their team to take a 34-29 lead into halftime.

Stewart continued his stellar play to open the second half.  His aggressive play forced SHU into three quick fouls, and his three-point play the old-fashioned way gave his team a 42-33 advantage at the 16:56 mark.  However, his team would go ice cold over the next three minutes while Sacred Heart went on a 10-0 run to take a one-point lead.

On the second half struggles, Pryor said, "They made more winning plays than we did; they hustled to the ball more."  Head coach Andy Toole added, "A total lack of respect for the game of basketball."  He went on to say, "Not being mentally ready to play a basketball game."

While the lid remained on the basket for Robert Morris, the Pioneers found life a little easier around the basket.  Whether it was transition buckets, second-chance opportunities, or finding the soft spots in the 2-3 zone, SHU managed to extend their lead to eight points on a pair of free throws by freshman guard Quincy McKnight.

A layup by freshman guard Isiah Still at the 4:00 ended the drought from the floor for the Colonials.  However, it was too little too late, as SHU was in full attack mode led by Broome.  His transition layup at the 3:15 mark put his team up nine, and they never looked back.  Despite a late push by RMU, Sacred Heart prevailed 69-65.

Robert Morris was led by 19 points by Stewart; he also had a game-high six assists.  Pryor's streak of 20+ point games (was six) ended.  He finished the game with 16 points on a very inefficient 5-13 from the floor.

Broome led all scorers with 33 points on 11-22 from the field.  McKnight chipped in 12 with a team-high four assists.

On Broome's performance while playing all 40 minutes, "Honestly, I don't think about how much I am playing; I just play."

The Colonials will try to bounce back at home against the Wagner Seahawks (7-5, 0-1) on Monday.  The Pioneers will continue their Pennsylvania road trip with a game against the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash (5-7, 1-0) on Monday.