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Jones lifts Robert Morris over FDU 76-62

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Colonials shoot a season-high 61.2 percent from field in snapping two-game slide

Teaneck, NJ – Senior forward Lucky Jones scored a season-high 24 points in his return to the lineup to help Robert Morris snap a two-game slide Saturday with a 76-62 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson at Stratis Arena.

The victory evens RMU's overall record on the 2014-15 campaign at 12-12, including 8-4 in the Northeast Conference, while FDU slipped to 7-16 overall and 2-10 in league play.

Tied, 45-45, with 14:35 to play, the Colonials used a 17-8 run over the next eight and-a-half minutes to take control. Freshman guard Marcquise Reed supplied nine points during the surge and also dished out a pair of assists, including a feed to Jones for a layup that capped the run.

The Knights were able to claw back to make it 64-60 in favor of Robert Morris at the 4:08 mark of the second half after Darius Stokes hit one of his two attempts at the free-throw line. Junior guard Rodney Pryor answered by hitting a pair at the stripe with 3:55 remaining after a foul by Earl Potts, Jr., and Jones helped seal the win with a three-pointer from the wing with 2:12 to go that pushed RMU's advantage to 69-60.

"We shared the ball and made great decisions in the second half," head coach Andrew Toole said. "Lucky made winning plays for us. It bothered that he didn't play Thursday, and he wanted to come out and play well. I told him in the locker room after the game I was proud of his effort."

Robert Morris shot a season-high 61.2 percent (30-for-49) from the field in the victory, improving to 23-0 against NEC opponents in five years under Toole when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.

The Colonials never trailed in the contest, owning a 19-12 advantage with 11:21 to go in the first half after a jumper from Pryor. Sophomore guard Kavon Stewart gave RMU its biggest lead of the first half, 28-16, with a running jumper in the lane. Stewart was key to the Robert Morris offense before the break, scoring 12 points on perfect 5-for-5 shooting from the field and a 2-for-2 performance at the free-throw line while also registering three assists and a pair of steals.

Fairleigh Dickinson climbed back into it late in the first half thanks to Mustafaa Jones, who drilled three consecutive three-pointers to trim RMU's lead to 36-34. Stewart capped the scoring in the first half, hitting a jumper as time expired to give the Colonials a 38-34 cushion at halftime.

"Kavon was fantastic tonight," Toole said. "He was an offensive spark for us in the first half and really controlled the tempo in the second half when we needed it most."

FDU tied it four times in the first six and-a-half minutes after the break but could never grab the lead before Robert Morris took control.

Lucky Jones finished 8-for-15 shooting, including 3-for-7 from beyond the arc, while going 5-for-5 at the free-throw line. He also added six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Reed scored 11 of his 15 points after the break and dished out four assists, while junior forward Aaron Tate grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

Potts paced the Knights with 22 points and six rebounds, while Mustafaa Jones scored 14 points. Also reaching double figures for FDU was Matt MacDonald, who scored 12 points and dished out three assists.

RMU returns home to the Charles L. Sewall Center for a two-game homestand, beginning Thursday, Feb. 12, with a 7:00 p.m. tip against LIU Brooklyn.

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