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Colonials drop road contest at LIU

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Marcquise Reed scored 22 points, but also turned the ball over nine times as Robert Morris lost 72-63 at Long Island

Brooklyn, NY – Robert Morris opened a two-game road swing Thursday night by dropping its second consecutive game, 72-65, to LIU Brooklyn at the Steinberg Wellness Center.

RMU slipped to 11-12 overall on the 2014-15 campaign with the loss, including 7-4 in the Northeast Conference, while the Blackbirds improved to 9-13 overall and 5-6 in league play.

Tied, 38-38, with 13:28 to play after freshman guard Marcquise Reed hit a jumper, LIU Brooklyn used a 12-1 run over the next three minutes to grab a 50-39 advantage. Glenn Feidanga was the main offensive force during the surge for the Blackbirds, scoring seven points.

Robert Morris was able to trim its deficit to 52-48 with 6:21 to play after a layup from sophomore guard Kavon Stewart, but Joel Hernandez came up big for LIU Brooklyn. He picked the pocket of Reed and scored on the other end to push the lead for the Blackbirds to 55-48, and his three-point play with 3:59 remaining pushed LIU Brooklyn's lead back to double digits, 60-50.

The Blackbirds sealed the win at the free-throw line, going 12-for-14 at the stripe in the final 3:49 of action.

RMU owned a three-point lead at the break, 27-24, on the strength of 14 points in the first half from Reed. The rookie shot 7-for-9 from the floor and also grabbed three rebounds. Meanwhile, Robert Morris held LIU Brooklyn to just 29.4 percent (10-for-34) shooting in the first stanza, including 0-for-5 from deep.

The Blackbirds responded in the second half by shooting 50 percent (13-for-26) from the floor, including 3-for-8 from beyond the arc.

"The defensive numbers tonight are smoke and mirrors," head coach Andrew Toole said. "Our defensive performance in the second half was poor, to say the least. I don't know if it hurts enough for us when we lose. It's hard to say that out loud."

Martin Hermannsson led LIU Brooklyn with 17 points, while Hernandez chipped in 15 points and five boards. Also reaching double figures for the Blackbirds was Gerrell Martin and Nura Zanna, who contributed 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Reed paced the Colonials with 22 points and also registered four rebounds, two assists and two steals, while junior guard Rodney Pryor finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. Freshman forward Elijah Minnie added 10 points, seven caroms and two blocks for RMU.

Robert Morris concludes its two-game road swing Saturday, Feb. 7, with a 4:30 p.m. tip against Fairleigh Dickinson at Stratis Arena in Teaneck, N.J.

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