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Robert Morris loses big lead in loss to LIU-Brooklyn

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Colonials lose for third time in four games

Moon Township, PA - LIU Brooklyn shot 52.6 percent from the field in the second half and erased a 15-point deficit in posting a come-from-behind victory, 63-62, over Robert Morris Thursday at the Charles L. Sewall Center.

The Colonials dipped to 12-13 overall on the 2014-15 campaign with the loss, including 8-5 in the Northeast Conference, while the Blackbirds notched their third straight win and improved to 11-13 overall and 7-6 in league action.

Martin Hermannsson gave LIU Brooklyn its final lead, 63-62, with 1:37 to play by converting a pair at the free-throw line after a foul by junior guard Rodney Pryor. On RMU's ensuing possession Pryor's layup was blocked by Nura Zanna.

Elvar Fridriksson missed a three-pointer with just under a minute to play, but Joel Hernandez came up with the offensive rebound for the Blackbirds and after a pair of timeouts, Zanna turned the ball over with 23 seconds left.

Robert Morris had a chance to grab the lead, but Hernandez picked the pocket of freshman guard Marcquise Reed, and Hermannsson was sent to the free-throw line with 8.1 seconds to play after a foul from senior forward Lucky Jones. Hermannsson, however, missed both opportunities at the stripe, giving the Colonials one last chance.

Reed drove into the lane but had his shot blocked by Hernandez with 0.7 seconds left on the clock, and a last chance in-bounds play was off the mark, helping LIU Brooklyn seal the victory.

"Our defense in the second half let us down," head coach Andrew Toole said. "LIU made more plays and deserved to win the game. We also stopped moving the ball on offense in the second half. We made plays for our teammates in the first half but then made plays for ourselves in the second half. A lot of our guys are frustrated. The coaches are frustrated. I think we identified some problems, but we need to create solutions."

RMU shot 65.4 percent (17-for-26) from the field in the first half and owned a 31-16 cushion with 5:54 remaining in the first half after a fastbreak layup from sophomore guard Kavon Stewart. LIU Brooklyn was able to rally and trimmed its deficit to 40-30 at the break.

A 3-pointer from Jones with 16:23 left gave the Colonials a 47-35 lead, but the Blackbirds responded with a 19-4 surge to grab their first lead, 54-51, with 8:01 to play. That set up the stretch run that featured six ties and seven lead changes.

Reed led Robert Morris with 14 points, while Jones chipped in 12 points and Tate 10. Freshman forward Elijah Minnie added nine points and seven rebounds off the bench.

The Blackbirds were led by Zanna, who scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Trevin Woods added 13 points off the bench for LIU Brooklyn, while Hermannsson contributed 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Robert Morris closes out a two-game homestand Saturday, Feb. 14, with a Noon tip against Central Connecticut State at the Sewall Center.

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