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Robert Morris beats Delaware

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Reed's 20 leads balanced attack for Colonials

Moon Township, PA – Robert Morris built a 16-point lead in the second half en route to an 84-81 victory over Delaware Monday night in its final non-conference home game of the 2014-15 campaign.

In garnering its second straight win at the Charles L. Sewall Center, the Colonials improved to 4-7 overall on the year, while the Blue Hens slipped to 0-10.

A pair of free throws from junior guard Rodney Pryor after a technical foul on the Delaware bench gave the Colonials a 65-49 cushion with 7:08 to play. The Blue Hens used an 11-0 run that featured five points from Kyle Anderson and four points from Barnett Harris to close their deficit to 65-60 with 4:24 remaining.

Junior forward Stephan Bennett started a 9-2 surge for RMU with a dunk off a feed from senior forward Lucky Jones that gave the Colonials a 74-62 lead with 1:46 to go, but Delaware had one last charge.

Chivarsky Corbett, who scored a game-high 21 points off the bench for the Blue Hens, hit a pair of off-balance three-pointers to bolster UD. On his second triple he was fouled by junior forward Aaron Tate, and he converted the four-point play to pull Delaware within 82-79 with just under 25 seconds left.

Harris would foul freshman guard Marcquise Reed on RMU's ensuing possession, and he hit one of his two attempts at the free-throw line to give the Colonials an 83-79 lead. Kyle Anderson turned the ball over on Delaware's next possession, with Pryor coming up with the steal. He was immediately fouled and went 1-for-2 at the stripe to help seal the victory.

"I'm thankful we were able to pull out the victory," head coach Andrew Toole said. "We grabbed a 16-point lead in the second half, but then we let our foot off the gas. We got comfortable, and what I'm trying to teach these guys is that it's important to close out games. It's a learning process, but it's something we need to get better at as the season goes on."

Robert Morris, which went just 7-for-13 at the chalk in the first half, at one point converted 16 straight free throws in the second half and finished 28-for-40 (70 percent) at the line overall.

RMU never trailed in the contest, hitting seven of its first eight attempts from the field in building a 16-8 advantage just four minutes into the game. The Colonials grabbed their first double-digit advantage with 13:19 to play before halftime, 21-11, thanks to a pair of free throws from senior guard David Appolon and eventually settled for a 36-30 lead at the break.

Twice in the first seven minutes after intermission the Blue Hens made it a one-possession contest, including 45-43 at the 13:52 mark of the second half after a pair of free throws from Maurice Jeffers. Robert Morris responded, however, with a 20-6 run to grab its biggest lead of the game.

Reed led four Colonials in double figures with 20 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, including 2-for-5 from beyond the arc, and an 8-for-13 performance at the free-throw line. Pryor added 19 points, while Jones contributed 15 points and five rebounds off the bench. Appolon also scored in double figures for RMU with 12 points while registering five rebounds and three assists.

Corbett shot 5-for-13 from the field for Delaware in taking home game-high honors in scoring but was bolstered by an 8-for-9 performance at the free-throw line. He also added three rebounds and four assists. Also scoring in double figures for the Blue Hens was Jeffers and Anderson with 16 points each, while Kory Holden posted 13 points, seven assists and three steals off the bench.

Robert Morris now has over a week off thanks to the Christmas holiday and will conclude its 2014-15 non-conference slate Tuesday, Dec. 30, with a 7:00 p.m. tilt against Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum.

 

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