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Tate's buzzer-beater lifts Robert Morris over Central Connecticut State

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Aaron Tate's layup at the buzzer lifted Robert Morris over Central Connecticut State 53-52. Marcquise Reed had 18 points and Rodney Pryor added 15 and 9 rebounds for the Colonials.

Moon Township, PA – Junior forward Aaron Tate's tip-in as time expired lifted Robert Morris to a 53-52 victory over Central Connecticut State Saturday at the Charles L. Sewall Center.

The Colonials climbed out of an 11-point deficit in the second half.

Trailing, 52-51, with 8.3 seconds to play, freshman guard Marcquise Reed came off a screen and put up a floater in the lane that was strong, but Tate was there for the put back. The ball bounced three times on the back rim before falling in to give RMU the win.

The Colonials improved 13-13 overall on the 2014-15 campaign with the win, including 9-5 in the Northeast Conference, while the Blue Devils dipped to 3-24 overall and 1-13 in league play.

Matt Mobley buried a 3-pointer with 13:20 to play that gave CCSU a 44-33 advantage, but Robert Morris used a 13-4 surge over the next seven minutes to trim its deficit 48-46 with 6:18 remaining. Reed scored eight consecutive points for the Colonials, while Pryor capped the run with a 3-pointer and a jumper.

It remained a one-possession game for the next two minutes before Faronte Drakeford converted a layup, followed by a layup from Mobley, that helped Central Connecticut State push its lead to 52-46 with 3:21 to go.

The Blue Devils were held scoreless the rest of the way, however, as a 3-pointer from Pryor and a jumper by Reed pulled RMU to within 52-51 before Tate's tip-in at the buzzer.

"Central clearly deserved to win the game," head coach Andrew Toole said. "We needed this game in the worst way, and I though in the last eight to 10 minutes we picked up our intensity, which was great to see. I'm happy for Aaron Tate. He has good collateral with the basketball gods."

RMU stiffened defensively in the final 10 minutes, holding CCSU to just four points on 2-of-11 shooting (18.1 percent) while forcing five turnovers.

In a game that featured two ties and nine lead changes, Robert Morris held a 27-26 lead with 1:07 left before halftime thanks a layup from Pryor, but jumpers from Drakeford and Mobley gave CCSU a 30-27 lead at the break.

The Blue Devils opened the second half with a 14-3 run to open up their biggest lead of the contest before faltering down the stretch. Mobley took home game-high honors in scoring with 23 points and also added four assists and a steal. He finished 9-for-18 shooting, including 5-for-10 from beyond the arc, and also grabbed two rebounds. Drakeford added 12 points for CCSU.

Reed paced the Colonials with 18 points, four rebounds and four steals, while Pryor chipped in 15 points and nine boards. Tate finished with four points and six rebounds, while freshman forward Elijah Minnie contributed seven points and six boards.

RMU takes to the road for its next two games, beginning with a 7:00 p.m. tip against Sacred Heart at the William H. Pitt Center in Fairfield, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 19.



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