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Robert Morris beats St. Francis to clinch NCAA bid

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Freshman Elijah Minnie had 14 points and 9 rebounds, Rodney Pryor scored 17 points and Robert Morris hung on to beat St. Francis-Brooklyn and clinch their first NCAA berth since 2010.

Leading by 10 with less than sevin minutes to go, Robert Morris hung on to deny St. Francis their first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.

The Terriers had a chance to tie the game after junior guard Tyreek Jewell was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds on the clock. However, Jewell missed all three free throws to end the game 66-63.

The game was relatively tight contest in between both teams with the Terriers gaining advantage in the opening half by dominating the glass - scoring 16 second chance points from 13 rebounds. St. Francis was able to gain a solid lead of 19-11 with 11 minutes to go. They held a consistent lead, keeping the Colonials at bay to end the half ahead 35-29.

However, they could not keep the Colonials off their tails as Robert Morris came back in the second half with a zone defense. The Robert Morris defense prevented St.Francis from penetrating the lane and forced shots from perimeter. The Terriers did not react well, committing a lot of turnovers and the Colonials took advantage. A 16-3 run, with 9 unanswered points courtesy of Pryor and senior Lucky Jones back-to-back 3's, solidified a 67-57 lead with 8:55 left.

However, the Terriers did not back down and tried to make hustle plays to keep them in the game. RMU seemed to loosen its grip on defense, which would allow the Terriers to creep from behind thanks to a Jewell 3-point jumper, which cut the lead to 59-56 with 3:38 on the clock.

With 0:19 left on the clock, freshman guard Glenn Sanabria shot a dagger of a 3-pointer to cut the Colonials lead down to 64-63. However, hearts of St.Francis fans broke when Jewell missed his free throws.

MVP of the game was awarded to Pryor who ended the game with 17 points and 4 steals. Four other players -- Lucky Jones, Elijah Minnie, Kavon Stewart and Marquis Reed all ended the game in double figures.

Jewell led the last way for the Terriers with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists while Jaten Cannon and Sabarine finishing with 10 points each.

Robert Morris must wait till Sunday to find out who their next opponent will be.

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