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Bench sparks Robert Morris to 69-63 victory over Duquesne

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Williams, Myers lead charge as reserves help RMU improve to 2-0 at home

Redshirt freshman Coron Williams (Midlothian, Va. / Christchurch School) hit a three-pointer from the wing with 3:55 to play to give the Robert Morris University men's basketball team the lead for good as the Colonials went on for a 69-63 victory over Duquesne Friday night at the Charles L. Sewall Center.

RMU improves to 2-1 overall on the 2010-11 campaign with the victory, with the Dukes dropped to 1-1.

In a game that featured five ties and three lead changes in the second half, the trifecta from Williams helped Robert Morris close the game on an 13-5 run.

B.J. Monteiro pulled the Dukes within one, 61-60, with a layup off a feed from Mike Talley with 3:05 to go, but the Colonials kept the three-point advantage, 63-60,  when redshirt sophomore forward Russell Johnson (Chester, Pa. / Chester) scored on a layup at the 2:45 mark of the second half.

Redshirt sophomore guard Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast Catholic) pushed the lead to 65-60 with a pair of free throws with 1:48 to play, part of a stretch where Robert Morris finished 6-for-8 at the free-throw line in the final two minutes of action.

The Dukes shot out of the gates to a 23-10 lead in the first 10 minutes of action thanks to the three-pointer, as Bill Clark hit a pair and Sean Johnson and T.J. McConnell each connected from beyond the arc. RMU trimmed its deficit to 24-18 with an 8-1 surge, but Duquesne pushed its lead back to double digits, 30-20, as Clark and Johnson again connected from long range.

The Colonials, however, closed the half on a 12-5 spurt to close to within three at halftime, 35-32, as five different players scored for Robert Morris, including a 4-for-4 performance at the free-throw line from sophomore guard Karon Abraham (Paterson, N.J. / Harp Academy).

The Dukes held the lead early in the second half, and Robert Morris didn't take its first advantage until the 11:20 mark when a three-pointer from freshman guard Elton Roy (Houston, Texas / Yates) pushed the Colonials in front, 47-46. RMU eventually stretched its lead to five, 51-46, after a three-pointer from Jones, but a 12-5 run pushed Duquesne to a 58-56 lead with 5:36 remaining.

Freshman forward Yann Charles (Longueuil, Quebec / Champlain St. Albert) ignited the decisive run with a layup off a feed from freshman guard Anthony Myers (Washington, D.C. / Charis Prep), two possessions prior to the big three-pointer from Williams.

Clark led all scorers in the contest with 22 points for Duquesne on 6-of-15 shooting, including a 5-for-12 performance from beyond the arc. He also added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. McConnell contributed 12 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals for the Dukes, while Damian Saunders finished with seven points, eight rebounds and three rebounds in his 2010-11 debut.

Seven different Colonials scored at least six points against the Dukes, led by Abraham, who finished with 15 points and added four rebounds and two steals. Johnson added 13 points, nine rebounds and two steals, while Williams finished with eight points, two rebounds and three assists off the bench.

Myers added seven points, six rebounds, an assist and a steal in 23 minutes as Robert Morris held a 22-8 edge in points by the reserves.

Robert Morris shot 39.7 percent (23-for-58) from the field while holding Duquesne to a shooting percentage of 35.8 percent (19-for-53). The Colonials held a 48-34 edge on the glass, including an 18-10 advantage in offensive rebounds, and outscored the Dukes, 22-19, in points in the paint and 26-16 in points off turnovers.

The Colonials are next in action by opening a five-game road swing Tuesday, Nov. 23, with a 7:00 p.m. tip against Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center in a game that will be televised live on FSN Pittsburgh and ESPN Regional.

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