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Pryor leads Robert Morris over Fairleigh Dickinson

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Rodney Pryor had 27 points and 14 rebounds and hit a floater with a minute left to lead Robert Morris over Fairleigh Dickinson 72-70 on Saturday night.

Pryor scored 20 of his game-high 27 in the second half as the Colonials (8-19, 6-8) dropped the Knights (13-12, 9-5) into a four-way tie for the lead in the Northeast Conference.

In a game that featured 10 ties and 14 lead changes, Pryor's off balance jumper in the lane with 1:03 to go pushed RMU in front, 71-69. On the ensuing FDU possession, Stephan Jiggetts drew a foul but hit just the front end of his two opportunities at the stripe to pull the Knights to within 71-70 with 46 seconds left.

Out of a Robert Morris timeout, junior guard Kavon Stewart drove the lane and was fouled with 23 seconds to play. He hit the back end of his pair of chances at the chalk to give the Colonials a 72-70 edge.

Fairleigh Dickinson had one last chance, but Darian Anderson's desperation three-pointer was strong, and Stewart came down with the rebound to seal the victory after the ball was poked out of the paint by Pryor.

"I'm really proud of the effort our guys gave tonight," head coach Andrew Toole said. "FDU is the best offensive team in our league, and I thought we did a good job controlling penetration and turning them over. It was a hard-fought game, and one that was fun to coach. We stood up to the challenge and took the blows today."

Anderson gave Fairleigh Dickinson a 55-52 advantage with 8:20 remaining after converting a four-point play thanks to a three-pointer and foul by freshman guard Matty McConnell. Robert Morris responded by scoring the next four points, including a floater from Stewart and a layup by freshman guard Steven Whitley, to grab 56-55 lead.

Anderson came right back for FDU, converting on a driving layup to again push the Knights in front, 57-56. Pryor would give the lead back to Robert Morris, 59-57, with a three-pointer at the 6:59 mark of the second half, but layups from Mike Holloway and Earl Potts, Jr., helped Fairleigh Dickinson regain control, 61-59.

The frantic pace was emblematic of the final nine minutes, which featured five ties and eight lead changes.

Junior forward Billy Giles was key for the Colonials down the stretch, giving RMU the lead and knotting the game twice with baskets. He finished with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting and also contributed five rebounds, an assist and two steals.

Pryor recorded his third consecutive double-double, grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds to go along with three assists and three steals. Stewart also reached double figures in scoring with 11 points while adding five rebounds and six assists.

"We had great individual efforts, but guys were making decisions based on what's good for the team," Toole said. "That's what you have to do to win games."

Anderson led five players in double figures for Fairleigh Dickinson with 16 points and also tallied five assists and five steals. Holloway, Marques Townes and Malik Miller each scored 11 points, while Potts, Jr., scored 10.

Robert Morris returns home to the Charles L. Sewall Center for a pair of games, welcoming LIU Brooklyn for a 7:00 p.m. tip Thursday, Feb. 18.

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