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Stewart's late basket helps Robert Morris hold off Lehigh

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Rodney Pryor had 20 points, 6 boards and 5 assists -- and Kavon Stewart drained the game-winner -- as ‎Robert Morris‬ held off Lehigh 69-67 Thursday night.

Stewart sank a runner from the left block was the game-winning basket as Robert Morris won its second game of the season after holding off a late Lehigh surge.

Trailing by six late in the second half, Lehigh scored three straight baskets to tie the game at 67 before Robert Morris point guard Stewart, who finished with 11 points, sank a layup with 1:08 left for the winning margin. The Colonials forced a pair of turnovers in the final minute to seal the win.

Matty McConnell added 13 points for Robert Morris. Austin Price led Lehigh with 19 points. Jesse Chuku and Kahron Ross added 14 apiece.

Robert Morris shot a season-high 53.1 percent (26-for-49) from the field and held a 60-50 advantage with 9:16 to go after McConnell connected from beyond the arc.

Lehigh didn't wilt, using an 11-3 surge to pull within 63-61 with 5:16 left in the game after Justin Goldsborough hit a pair at the free-throw line. Austin Price scored five points during the run, while Jesse Chuku hit a pair of jumpers.

RMU weathered the storm, as senior guard Rodney Pryor hit a pair of jumpers to push the lead for the Colonials to 67-61 with 4:27 remaining.

The Mountain Hawks mounted one last charge, as layups from Goldsborough and Leufroy, plus a jumper from Price with just 1:26 to go, tied the game for the fifth time, 65-65. Stewart followed by coming through for Robert Morris, as his off-balance jumper hit the side of the rim, bounced up and then fell through the cylinder.

"During our losing streak we were searching for small wins, whether it was our play in spurts during a game or individual performances," head coach Andrew Toole said. "Tonight was the definition of a small win. The good thing is we can take a lot of positives from tonight and use them as teaching tools."

Tied, 10-10, in the first half, Robert Morris reeled off a 16-6 run that gave the Colonials their first double-digit advantage of the 2015-16 season, 26-16, with eight minutes to play before the break. Five different players scored, including five points from Stewart and four from Pryor.

Lehigh slowly chipped away, closing to within 31-29 at the 2:06 mark of the first half thanks to a layup from Leufroy. RMU eventually entered the break with a 36-34 lead as Price hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to make it a one-possession game.

Ross tied the game, 41-41, early in the second half thanks to a three-pointer before a 12-4 run by Robert Morris gave the Colonials a 53-45 edge. Sophomore forward Elijah Minnie and Pryor each connected from beyond the arc to bolster RMU.

Yet every time Robert Morris looked to pull away, Lehigh had an answer. The Colonials were able to seal the win late thanks to a pair of big defensive stands.

"We had good activity and energy on defense late in the game," Toole said. "We moved on the flight of the ball instead of waiting until the ball reached where it was going to go. That's key. We also turned them over at a high rate."

Pryor garnered game-high honors in scoring with 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the floor and also led the Colonials in rebounds (6) and assists (5). McConnell finished with 13 points, while Stewart contributed 11 points and four dimes.

Price led Lehigh with 19 points and four assists. Ross and Chuku each scored 14 points, while Goldsborough grabbed a game-high seven boards, including six on the offensive glass.

Robert Morris takes to the road for its final two non-conference games of the 2015-16 slate, beginning with a 2:00 p.m. tip against Duquesne at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., Saturday, Dec. 19.

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