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RMU season comes to an end with 82-71 loss at Belmont

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Karvel Anderson scored 23 points and Lucky Jones added 15 and 9 rebounds but the short-handed Robert Morris Colonials fell to Belmont 82-71 in the second-round of the NIT.

Robert Morris saw its run in the 2014 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) come to an end Friday night as Belmont earned an 82-71 victory over the Colonials at the Curb Event Center.

RMU concludes its 2013-14 campaign with an overall record of 22-14, while Bruins improved to 26-9 and advance to face either Clemson or Illinois in the third round of the NIT.

Robert Morris jumped out to an early 11-5 lead in the first two minutes of action against Belmont in much the same fashion as it grabbed the early advantage at St. John's in the first round of the NIT, as senior guard Karvel Anderson connected twice from beyond the arc, while junior forward Lucky Jones buried a triple of his own.

Jones would give the Colonials a 13-9 edge at the 15:32 mark of the first half with a driving layup, but the Bruins responded with a 10-0 surge to grab their first lead of the contest, 19-13, with 13:08 left before halftime. Blake Jenkins was the main offensive force for Belmont, scoring six points.

Junior guard Charles Oliver stemmed the tide for Robert Morris by hitting a pair of free throws, which began a 12-0 run that helped the Colonials open up a 25-19 advantage with 9:15 left before halftime. Jones and Anderson each connected from deep, while freshman guard Kavon Stewart and sophomore forward Stephan Hawkins each hit jumpers.

RMU then went cold offensively, not converting a field goal for almost five minutes, and the Bruins grabbed their first double-digit lead of the contest, 36-25, thanks to a 17-0 spurt that began with eight straight points from J.J. Mann.

Anderson helped the Colonials whittle their deficit to 38-33 at the 2:41 mark of the first half with a three-point play, but a 3-pointer that was banked in from Craig Bradshaw allowed Belmont to take a 44-35 edge at halftime.

Twice in the first five minutes of the second half Robert Morris made it a two-possession game, including 49-43 with 15:12 to go after a jumper from Hawkins, but an 11-3 run allowed the Bruins to open up a 61-46 cushion with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Just one time in the final 10 minutes of action could the Colonials get their deficit into single digits, which came with 1:34 to play when Anderson converted a layup to make it 71-62 in favor of the Bruins.

Mann garnered game-high honors in scoring for Belmont with 25 points and also added six rebounds, two assists and three steals. Also scoring in double figures for the Bruins were Drew Windler and Bradshaw, who contributed 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Anderson led the Colonials in his final game in a Robert Morris uniform with 23 points, finishing 7-for-14 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, and going 5-for-6 at the free-throw line. He also added two rebounds and two steals.

Fittingly, the final basket of Anderson's RMU career came with eight seconds left, when he buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Jones added 15 points and nine rebounds for RMU, while senior guard Anthony Myers-Pate contributed 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in his final game with the Colonials. Sophomore forward Aaron Tate, despite not scoring, produced a game-high 10 rebounds.

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