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Robert Morris tops Mount Saint Mary's

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Senior Gary Wallace scored five points during a key run which allowed Robert Morris—playing without leading scorer Karon Abraham—to pull away from Mount St. Mary's in a 65-57 win on Thursday night.

Robert Morris 65 - Mount St. Mary's 57
Charles L. Sewall Center, Coraopolis, PA

Despite leading scorer Karon Abraham sitting out with a right leg injury, Robert Morris reeled off its fifth straight victory Thursday night by conquering Mount St. Mary's 65-57 at the Sewall Center. Lijah Thompson, hindered by foul trouble early on, scored 10 second-half points as the Colonials (15-13, 11-6) clinched a Northeast Conference Quarterfinal home game.

RMU led the Mounts 29-27 at the half, and the visitors kept the score close at 37-36 after a Josh Castellanos 3-pointer with 12:52 remaining. But the Colonials went on a 12-2 tear keyed by Gary Wallace. The only senior on the RMU roster hit a lay-up and a 3-point jumper during the run that swelled the Colonials' lead to 11.

The Mounts (10-20, 8-9) didn't go quietly, though, shaving RMU's advantage down to three after a Trice free throw made it 56-53 with 2:42 to go. The Colonials converted from the line down the stretch to clinch the win, as Russell Johnson knocked down three free throws in the final 18 seconds.

Velton Jones led the Colonials with 12 points, though he did have six turnovers on the night. Thompson, limited to 15 minutes of game action, scored all 10 of his points after the break, and Johnson had 10 as well. Coron Williams and Wallace chipped in nine points each, with Williams swiping three steals to boot.

Playing without Abraham, who suffered an injury during the first five minutes of last Saturday's game at Monmouth, the Colonials made 43.4 percent of their field goals. RMU went 14-of-18 (77.8 percent) from the stripe.

Trice registered a game-high 24 points for the Mounts while hitting five 3-pointers. Mount St. Mary's leading scorer took aim at the net 20 times, making two of eight shots inside the arc.

Trice was the only Mountaineer to score in the doubles digits. Julian Norwood added nine points, while Raven Barber and Danny Thompson scored seven apiece. Overall, Mount St. Mary's shot just 34.6 percent from the field.

With the win, RMU took a 26-25 win in the all-time series with Mount Saint Mary's. The Colonials swept the season series with the Mounts, having bested them 51-48 back on January 8.

With two helpers against Mount St. Mary's, Anthony Myers set a new RMU season record for assists by a freshman. The 5-11 guard from Washington, D.C., now has 107 assists, passing Samba Johnson's mark of 106 set during the 1992-93 campaign.

FG%: RMU 43.4, MSM 34.6
FT%: RMU 77.8, MSM 66.7
3-PT: RMU 31.3, MSM 33.3
RBS: RMU 30, MSM 30

RMU- Jones 12; MSM Trice 24
Rebounds: RMU- Johnson 9; MSM Atupem, Barber, Thompson 5
Assists: RMU- Jones 4; MSM Trice 4
Blocks: RMU- Johnson, Thompson, Williams 1; MSM Barber 2
Steals: RMU- Williams 3; MSM Cajou, Norfleet, Trice 1

The Colonials aim for a sixth straight win during their regular-season finale Saturday, hosting Wagner at the Sewall Center at 7 p.m. The Seahawks sneaked past RMU on January 6, as Karon Abraham's career-high 32 points weren't enough for the Colonials in an 83-78 overtime loss on the road. Mount Saint Mary's looks to end a  four game tailspin on Saturday at St. Francis (PA) at 7 p.m.

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