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Robert Morris upset in NEC semifinals

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Robert Morris rallied late, but Mount St.Mary's early lead proved too much for the Colonials to overcome as RMU fell 69-60 in the semifinals of the NEC Tournament.

Rashad Whack scored 26 points to help lead No. 5 seed Mount St. Mary's to a 69-60 victory over No. 1 seed Robert Morris University Saturday afternoon at the Charles L. Sewall Center in the semifinals of the 2013 Northeast Conference Tournament.

The Colonials had their season-high six-game winning streak snapped in slipping to 23-10 overall on the 2012-13 campaign, while the Mount notched its ninth straight win in improving to 18-13.

Mount St. Mary's advances to face No. 3 seed LIU Brooklyn in the 2013 NEC Tournament Championship game, while RMU earns its second bid to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Whack opened the game's scoring with a three-pointer just 15 seconds into the contest, but the Colonials jumped out to a 9-5 lead as junior guard Anthony Myers-Pate (Washington, D.C. / Charis Prep) scored five points to propel Robert Morris.

Tied, 17-17, at the 9:04 mark of the second half, Mount St. Mary's closed the first half on a 12-6 run to open up a 29-23 advantage at the break. Sam Prescott started the run with a layup, while Whack hit a pair of three-pointers.

The Mount opened its first double-digit advantage with 17:08 to go when Prescott provided a dunk to help Mount St. Mary's open up a 35-25 edge.

The lead swelled to 47-29 with 9:05 to play courtesy of a Whack dunk, and the largest advantage of the contest came at the 4:56 mark of the second half when Kelvin Parker's jumper gave Mount St. Mary's a 56-36 lead.

RMU had one last gasp, using a 15-2 run to close its deficit to 58-51 with 2:56 remaining.

Myers-Pate converted a pair from beyond the arc, while sophomore forward Lucky Jones (Newark, N.J. / St. Anthony) added his own trifecta.

Mount St. Mary's sealed the win at the charity stripe, going 11-for-14 at the free-throw line in the final two minutes of action.

Whack hit seven of his 10 shots from the floor, including 4-of-5 from deep, and was 8-for-11 at the free-throw line for game-high honors in scoring. Prescott added 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Mount.

Robert Morris was led by Myers-Pate, who scored a season-high 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Jones added 10 points and five rebounds for the Colonials.

RMU was held to a shooting percentage of 34.4 percent (21-for-61), its lowest since suffering a 61-52 setback at Savannah State (11/26/12), when the Colonials converted a season-low 28.6 percent (16-for-56) of its attempts from the field.

Robert Morris will learn of its opponent in the 2013 NIT Sunday, March 17.

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