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EMU Slips By RMU, 69-64, in Keightley Classic Opener

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Lucky Jones leads with 18 in back and forth contest

Ypsilanti, MI – The Robert Morris University men's basketball team suffered its first setback of the 2013-14 campaign Thursday night as Eastern Michigan dealt the Colonials a 69-64 defeat in their first game of the Keightley Classic at the EMU Convocation Center.

RMU couldn't overcome 12 blocks by the Eagles as well as a 28-for-42 (66.7 percent) performance by EMU at the free-throw line.

The Colonials trailed, 44-33, with 12:17 to play and, much like two nights earlier in a 90-81 victory at Lafayette, tried to climb out of a double-digit deficit in the final 15 minutes of action but fell short.

Robert Morris came out of the gates on fire offensively, converting seven of its first 13 attempts from the floor in grabbing a 16-7 advantage. Junior forward Lucky Jones (Newark, N.J. / St. Anthony) and senior forward Mike McFadden (Newark, N.J. / Technology) each scored six points during the opening salvo.

RMU grabbed its biggest lead with 8:15 left before halftime, 23-11, when junior guard Charles Oliver (Scotch Plains, N.J. / Lakeland Community College) buried a three-pointer, but the offense sputtered the rest of stanza.

In the meantime, Eastern Michigan caught fire, closing the first half on a 20-6 run to take a 32-29 advantage at the break. Ray Lee was the main offensive force, scoring nine of EMU's final 11 points of the half, including a three-pointer with seven seconds remaining before the break to give the Eagles their first lead of the game.

Lee kept up the offensive prowess at the beginning of the second half, scoring six of the first eight points as Eastern Michigan opened up a 40-31 cushion. The Eagles eventually grabbed their own 11-point edge and were able to keep Robert Morris at bay the rest of the tilt.

Freshman Jeremiah Worthem (Philadelphia, Pa. / Math, Civics & Sciences) helped the the Colonials close to within 46-41 with 8:10 to go after a layup off an offensive rebound, but four straight points by Mike Talley gave EMU a 50-41 lead.

Five times in the next seven minutes RMU was able to make it a two-possession contest but couldn't quite get over the hump.

Senior guard Karvel Anderson (Elkhart, Ind. / Glen Oaks Community College), who scored all 13 of his points in the final six and-a-half minutes, drilled his third three-pointer with 57 seconds to go to close RMU's deficit to 66-61.

Glenn Bryant followed by missing a pair of free throws for Eastern Michigan, and Jones pulled the Colonials to within 66-64 with 25.6 seconds left thanks to a three-pointer of his own. Jones would foul Karrington Ward on EMU's next possession, and he finished 3-for-4 at the free-throw line in the final 19 seconds to seal the victory.

Jones paced Robert Morris with 18 points, eight rebounds and two steals, converting four of his six shots from the floor, including 3-for-4 from deep, and going 7-for-7 at the free-throw line. McFadden joined Jones and Anderson in double figures for the Colonials with 11 points.

Lee led all scorers in the contest with 21 points for Eastern Michigan and also registered four steals. Ward added 18 points and 12 boards for the Eagles, while Bryant finished with 13 points and four blocks.

RMU continues play in the 2013 Keightley Classic Sunday, Nov. 17, with a 7:00 p.m. tip against the University of Kentucky at Rupp Arena in a game that will be televised live on ESPN2.

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