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Colonials go cold in loss to St. Francis NY

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Robert Morris was ice cold from the floor, shooting just 32 percent in an 81-68 loss to St. Francis-NY at the Sewall Center Saturday evening.

St. Francis (N.Y.) shot 52.2 percent (24-for-46) from the field, including 58.8 percent (10-for-17) from beyond the arc, in snapping a four-game winning streak by the Robert Morris University men's basketball team Saturday night with an 81-68 victory over the Colonials at the Charles L. Sewall Center.

RMU slipped to 16-7 overall on the 2011-12 campaign, including 7-3 in the Northeast Conference, while the Terriers improved to 11-10 overall and 8-2 in conference play.

Junior forward Lijah Thompson (Philadelphia, Pa. / Monsignor Bonner) gave RMU a 41-35 edge with a layup at the 15:03 mark of the second half, but St. Francis (N.Y.) used a 19-3 run over the next six minutes to open up its first double-digit lead of the contest, 54-44, with 9:12 to go. Brent Jones scored seven points during the surge, while Travis Nichols added five points for the Terriers.

Redshirt sophomore guard Coron Williams (Midlothian, Va. / Christchurch School) hit a jumper to stem the tide, but after the two teams traded baskets, St. Francis (N.Y.) scored seven straight points, including five from Jones, to open up a 66-52 advantage.

The largest lead of the game for the Terriers came with 3:38 to play, when Nichols hit the back end of a pair of free throws to give St. Francis (N.Y.) a 69-52 edge.

Robert Morris trimmed its deficit to 74-64 with 1:31 remaining in the second half thanks to a full-court press, but the Terriers scored their last 13 points from the free-throw line, going 13-for-22 at the charity stripe in the final three and-a-half minutes of action, to seal the win.

The Colonials shot just 27.8 percent (10-for-36) in the second half, including 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from beyond the arc. Overall Robert Morris shot 32.4 percent (22-for-68).

Jones led St. Francis (N.Y.) with 19 points, converting six of his 11 attempts from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 from long range, and going 4-for-4 at the chalk. Nichols added 16 points off the bench, Jalen Cannon recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 caroms and Ben Mockford contributed 10 points.

The Colonials were led by redshirt junior guard Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast Catholic) with 21 points, while Williams scored 15. However, the duo combined to hit just 10 of their 40 shots (25 percent) from the field.

Robert Morris held a 40-38 edge on the glass, including 20 offensive boards for the Colonials, and outscored St. Francis (N.Y.), 30-16, in points in the paint. The reserves for the Terriers contributed 29 points compared to just 15 points for the RMU bench.

RMU returns to the road for its next three games, beginning with a 7:00 p.m. tip against Wagner at the Spiro Sports Center Thursday, Feb. 2. The Colonials will also visit Mount St. Mary's (Feb. 4) and Saint Francis (Pa.) (Feb. 8) during their road trip before returning home to host the Red Flash to complete the NEC's "Rivalry Week" Saturday, Feb. 11.

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