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Williams drills 3-pointer at buzzer to lift RMU over YSU

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Colonials collect 10th win at earliest point ever in a season

With the game tied and the clock winding to zero, redshirt sophomore Coron Williams (Midlothian, Va./ Christchurch School) launched a three-pointer from the right wing that found nothing but net and gave the Robert Morris University men’s basketball team a 59-56 win over Youngstown State at the Beeghle Center Thursday night. The win improves the RMU team to 10-3 while Dec. 22 marks the earliest in the season that the Colonials squad has reached double-digits in wins.

The Colonials found themselves trailing by three points after Ashlen Ward hit one of two free throws with 53 seconds left in regulation. A quick three-pointer by sophomore Anthony Myers (Washington, D.C. / Charis Prep) tied the game, 56-56, with 40 seconds left in the contest. On the following possession, Youngstown State dribbled out much of the shot clock before attacking for what they thought would be the game’s final shot. Trapped along the baseline, however, Kendrick Perry threw a wild pass out of bounds to give the ball back to the Colonials with nine seconds remaining.

A well-executed play saw redshirt junior Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast) draw a triple-team in the right corner, but the savvy guard was ready and fed a pass back out the right wing where Williams caught and released his shot with one-tenth of a second on the clock. As the buzzer erupted, his shot fell through the net and quieted the Youngstown State crowd of nearly 2,000 spectators.

Jones finished the game with 15 points and six assists, none bigger than his last dime. Williams finished with 14 points after hitting 4-of-10 three-pointers. A balanced scoring ledger featured eight players with points. Redshirt junior Russell Johnson (Chester, Pa. / Chester) led the Colonial team with eight rebounds to go along with six points.

Perry had a game-high 18 points to lead all scorers and a trio of Penguins in double-digits. DuShawn Brooks added 16 and Blake Allen had 12 points to go with eight assists.

After trading blows over the first four minutes, Youngstown State hit four consecutive three-pointers to turn a four-point deficit into a 19-12 lead with 13:40 left in the opening half. RMU held the Guins scoreless for nearly four minutes, enabling the offense to cut the margin to one-point, 21-20, on a trey by Williams from the left wing.

The Colonials continued the run, taking a 25-24 lead when Williams buried a long jumper from the left corner with just over six minutes left in the opening half. The advantage would be short-lived, however, as YSU got a two from Ward and a long three from Perry to take a four-point cushion. RMU scored the final four points of the half with Johnson knocking down a pair of free throws before sophomore Mike McFadden (Newark, N.J. / Technology (Iona)) hit a driving lay-in to send the game into the break with the Guins hanging on to a 32-31 lead.

Both teams struggled offensively out of the locker room combining for six points over the first six minutes after the half. Robert Morris took a brief 36-35 lead on a tip-in by freshman Keith Armstrong (Raleigh, N.C. / Fishburne Military Academy). Perry hit answered with his third three-pointer on the next possession and would score again to push the YSU lead back to four points.

The squads went back-and-forth over the next four minutes with the host squad holding on to the lead despite seven consecutive RMU points by Lucky Jones (Newark, N.J. / St. Anthony). Back-to-back trifectas by Brooks would be the last baskets by the Penguins for over four minutes.

Robert Morris was able to cut the margin to one point during that drought with four points by Velton Jones. Youngstown State would hold off the RMU surge, pushing the margin back out to seven points with a 6-0 run featuring free throws by Fletcher Larson and DuShawn Brooks with 4:03 left to play. The Penguins would score just one last point over the final four minutes of the game.

The Colonials continue their season-long five-game road trip Dec. 29 when they travel to Memphis for a 7:00 p.m. tip against the Tigers.

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