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Robert Morris overcomes injuries to knock off Fairleigh Dickinson

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Elijah Minnie scored 17 points, Kavon Stewart had 12 and 10 assists and walk-on Conrad Stephens added 13 as Robert Morris knocked off Fairleigh Dickinson 64-58 on Saturday.

The Colonials snapped a two-game slide, erasing a 13-point deficit to earn their second in Northeast Conference play.

Robert Morris improved to 4-15 overall on the 2015-16 campaign, while the Knights fell to 8-9 overall and 4-2 in the NEC.

Darian Anderson gave FDU its biggest lead of the game with 6:13 left in the first half, 26-13, with a fastbreak layup to cap a 20-4 run. Robert Morris called timeout, and out of the break junior guard Kavon Stewart converted a three-point play thanks to a layup and foul courtesy of Anderson.

The three-point play ignited a 13-3 surge that helped Robert Morris close its deficit at halftime to 29-26. Stewart scored six points during the run, including a three-pointer as time expired in the first half.

Fairleigh Dickinson stretched its lead to 36-29 early in the second half thanks to a dunk from Earl Potts, Jr., a three-pointer by Stephan Jiggetts and a layup from Marques Townes. RMU was able to keep within in striking distance thanks to the play of junior forward Conrad Stephens, who scored six consecutive points to help the Colonials close to within 41-39.

Mike Holloway and Malik Miller would each score driving layups to help give the Knights a 48-43 advantage with 10:19 remaining, but a 10-0 run gave Robert Morris its first lead since early in the first half, 53-48. Freshman guard Matty McConnell connected from deep to start the spurt, while Stephens capped it with a layup with 5:32 to play.

Three times in the next three-and-a-half minutes FDU would make it a one-point game before sophomore forward Elijah Minnie would connect for a three-pointer from the top of the key off a feed from Stewart with 1:36 to go that would give Robert Morris a 60-56 advantage.

Townes missed a pair of three-pointers on consecutive possessions for the Knights, and RMU sealed the win at the stripe, as freshman guard Isaiah Still and Minnie each hit a pair from the free-throw line.

"I'm really proud of the fight we showed today," head coach Andrew Toole said. "Win or lose, that's how you're supposed to compete in a Division I basketball game. We went after loose balls, got on the floor and did a nice job rebounding the basketball. Guys followed details and didn't try to break off plays, even if it didn't work. We just kept battling."

Minnie garnered game-high honors in scoring with 17 points and added five rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Stephens, in the first extensive action of his career, finished a perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the field and 1-for-2 at the stripe for 13 points while tying for team-high honors in rebounds with six.

"Conrad was huge," Toole said. "The way he played today is the way he practices. He was awesome. In the right spot. Kept it simple. Finished around the rim. Conrad got guys excited and gave us energy. We've been looking for that energy out of our team all year."

Stewart registered a double-double, the second of his career, with 12 points and a season-high 10 assists. He also recorded four steals.

Fairleigh Dickinson was led by Jiggetts, who finished with 15 points and two steals. Holloway finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and four dimes, while Potts, Jr., recorded 10 points and eight boards.

Robert Morris takes to the road for its next four games, beginning with a 7:00 p.m. tip against Central Connecticut at Detrick Gymnasium in New Britain, Conn., Thursday, Jan. 21.

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