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Anderson leads Robert Morris comeback

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Robert Morris trailed by 16 points in the second half but Karvel Anderson scored 21 points in the final 6:43 to lift the Colonials over LIU Brooklyn 73-64.

Robert Morris extended its winning streak to five Thursday night and in the process claimed at least a share of the 2014 Northeast Conference regular-season championship with a 73-64 victory over LIU Brooklyn at the Charles L. Sewall Center.

In clinching its ninth consecutive winning season, the Colonials improved to 17-11 overall and 12-1 in league play, while the Blackbirds slipped to 8-17 overall and 3-9 in the NEC.

Trailing, 46-30, with 17:11 remaining after a three-point play by Glenn Feidanga and still down double digits, 58-48, at the 6:53 mark of the second half after Gilbert Parga hit a pair of free throws, RMU closed the game on a 25-6 run to earn the win.

Senior guard Karvel Anderson, who was held scoreless in the first half for the second time this season against LIU Brooklyn and didn't take a shot before halftime, scored 21 points in the final 6:43 to help bolster Robert Morris.

Anderson ignited the deciding surge with a 3-pointer and scored eight straight points, including a pair of three-pointers and a layup, to tie the contest, 61-61, with 3:39 to play.

RMU grabbed the lead, 62-61, when junior guard Charles Oliver hit the back end of a pair of attempts at the free-throw line. Parga missed a 3-pointer on LIU Brooklyn's next possession, and junior forward Lucky Jones grabbed the rebound before being fouled.

Jones hit both of his attempts at the chalk to give the Colonials a 64-61 advantage with 2:08 remaining. Parga missed another three-pointer on the next possession for the Blackbirds, and Anderson followed with a jumper with 1:10 left that gave RMU a 66-61 cushion.

Jason Brickman would pull LIU Brooklyn to within 66-64 with a 3-pointer with 47.9 seconds to play, but Anderson again came through for Robert Morris, hitting another jumper with 17 seconds remaining to push RMU's lead to 68-64.

Troy Joseph followed by  missing a three-pointer for LIU Brooklyn, and Anderson went to the line to seal the victory after grabbing the rebound and being fouled by hitting both ends of his attempts. The Blackbirds were held to just two field goals in the final 6:43 of action, both of which were 3-pointers by Brickman.

In the first half, LIU Brooklyn used a 22-5 run over the final 9:08 of the first half to take a 39-29 advantage into halftime. Gerrell Martin was the main offensive force for the Blackbirds before the intermission, scoring 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, including 3-for-3 from deep.

The Blackbirds eventually stretched their lead to 16 in the opening three minutes of the second half before RMU began its final spurt.

Anderson scored a game-high 26 points, all in the second half, on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, including 5-for-5 from beyond the arc, and a 5-for-6 performance at the free-throw line.

Junior guard David Appolon established career highs in both points (13) and rebounds (9) for Robert Morris, while Oliver added 12 points off the bench. Also reaching double figures in scoring for Robert Morris was Jones, who registered 10 points and eight boards.

Martin and Brickman each finished with 11 points for LIU Brooklyn, with Brickman adding five rebounds and a game-high nine assists. Parga added 10 points for the Blackbirds.

RMU concludes the home portion of its 2013-14 regular-season slate Saturday, Feb. 22, with a 4:00 p.m. tip against St. Francis Brooklyn at the Sewall Center.

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