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Robert Morris pulls away from Fordham in Preseason NIT

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Velton Jones' 18 leads four Colonials in double-figures as RMU picks up first win of the season

Velton Jones scored 18 points, leading four Robert Morris players in double-figures as the Colonials won their first game of the young season, handily defeating Atlantic 10 opponent Fordham 74-58 in the second round of the Preseason NIT at the Petersen Events Center Tuesday night.

Karvel Anderson had 16, Lucky Jones added 15 and 9 rebounds and Coron Williams scored 13 as the Colonials improved to 1-2 on the season. Robert Morris lost their first two games by big margins, falling by 25 to Rider in the opener and by 29 to Lehigh on Monday.

"Sometimes things start to change when guys get sick and tired of the results," said Colonials head coach Andy Toole. "You lose two games and you start to realize maybe you need to do things differently."

Fordham scored the first five points of the game, but RMU ran off 11 straight to take the lead and never trailed from that point on.

Anderson hit three consecutive field goals in the first eight minutes to turn a 5-5 tie into a 13-8 lead, and the Colonials twice built 11-point advantages in the first-half. They extended it to 12 at one point, but Branden Frazier kept Fordham in the game with 13 of their first 20 points, including a prayer 3-pointer to beat the shot clock that pulled the Rams back to within 26-20.

Anderson scored 10 in the first half to lead the Colonials, while Coron Williams drained three 3-pointers in the first half for nine points. RMU lead 37-29 at the break.

Fordham stormed out of the locker room in the second half with a 12-4 run that pulled them within two, 41-39. Williams buried another trey, Velton Jones added a layup, two free throws and a 3-pointer of his own, and the RMU defense stiffened, denying shots and forcing Fordham deep into possessions. RMU rebuilt their lead to 59-44 as the Rams went more than six minutes without a point.

"We just followed our defensive details," guard Velton Smith said. "Even though they were making a run, we just played hard defensively like we know how and we started rebounding the ball and getting some turnovers."

RMU dominated the glass in the second half as well, pulling down a 25-16 edge in rebounds.

A Bryan Smith 3-pointer at the 3:30 mark pulled the Rams back to within six, but they were unable to get any closer.

Frazier led the Rams with 21.

"It's not going to get any easier," said Toole. "We go to Xavier on Saturday."

The Colonials play the Musketeers at 2pm in Cincinnati.

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