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Pryor leads Robert Morris over Sacred Heart

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Rodney Pryor scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Robert Morris over Sacred Heart 73-63 on Thursday night in Fairfield, Connecticut.

The Colonials held Sacred Heart to just two field goals in the final 11:15 of action to earn their third win in the last four games.

Robert Morris improved to 10-20 overall on the 2015-16 campaign, including 8-9 in the Northeast Conference. The Pioneers slipped to 11-17 overall and 10-7 in league play.

Trailing, 36-35, entering the second half, RMU opened the stanza on an 11-2 surge to grab a 46-38 advantage and never trailed again. Junior guard Billy Giles scored five points during the run to bolster Robert Morris.

Jordan Allen converted a layup with 11:15 remaining that helped Sacred Heart trim its deficit to 51-43, but the Pioneers would hit just one field goal the rest of the way.

The game bogged down, with each team trading free throws, before the Colonials used a quick 7-0 spurt to grab their biggest lead of the contest, 66-55, with 3:08 to play. Giles ignited the surge with a three-point play thanks to a layup and free throw after a foul by SHU's Tevin Falzon and followed with another layup before freshman guard Isaiah Still also scored at the rim.

Robert Morris sealed the win at the stripe, converting seven of its 12 opportunities in the final 1:14.

"We really stepped up on the defensive side of the floor," head coach Andrew Toole said. "I challenged them hard at halftime, and give our guys credit, because they responded. We give guys the offensive freedom. We just want the effort to be consistent on the defensive side of the floor. All we talked about in the second half was can we stand up and play defense for 20 minutes? We did that tonight."

RMU jumped out to a 9-0 advantage in the first three and-a-half minutes of the contest and also owned leads of 17-7 and 19-9 in the first 10 minutes of action. Giles scored the first four points of the game for the Colonials, while senior guard Rodney Pryor contributed eight points.

The Pioneers grabbed their first lead of the game, 23-21, by hanging a 14-2 run on Robert Morris over a three-minute span. Eyimofe Edukogho was the main offensive force for Sacred Heart, scoring eight points.

The Colonials stemmed the tide, as Giles hit a pair at the free-throw line while Still connected from beyond the arc to push RMU back in front, 26-23, with 5:49 to go before the break. The rest of the half was a back-and-forth affair, with SHU grabbing a 36-35 edge at the break thanks to a layup from Matej Bouvac.

Pryor led four Robert Morris players in double figures with 26 points and also added nine rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks. He was 8-of-15 shooting and 8 of 9 from the line.

Giles chipped in 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting and also rejected a pair of shots, Still contributed 13 points off the bench and junior guard Kavon Stewart finished with 11 points, five rebounds and six assists.

Cane Broome paced the Pioneers with 21 points on 8-of-21 shooting from the field. Buovac added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Edukugho scored 11 points.

Sacred Heart is in a four-way, second-place tie, two games back of champion Wagner, with one regular-season game remaining.

RMU concludes its 2015-16 regular season with a 4:00 p.m. tip on Staten Island, N.Y., against Wagner at the Spiro Sports Center.

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