Robert Morris advanced to its sixth Northeast Conference Championship game in the last 11 seasons with a dominating home win against Long Island University yesterday.
Robert Morris started off the contest hot in front of their home crowd. Collectively, the Colonials ripped the net on their first three attempts.
It was junior A.J. Bramah that followed up his 22 point effort on Wednesday with eight points and a block in the first four minutes. Supplementing Bramah’s play were a slew of Colonial guards. Josh Wiliams, Sayveon McEwen and Dante Treacy each had two buckets from beyond the three-point line.
McEwen — along with sophomore guard Jalen Hawkins — combined for 15 points off the bench in the first 20 minutes.
In a clinic of team basketball, the Colonials posted four players with eight points in the first stanza. The Colonials attack was balanced as the team collected seven steals to go, along with shooting 60 percent from the field in the half.
Meanwhile, Sharks senior Julian Batts, from nearby Jeannette, Pa., and sophomore Jermaine Jackson Jr. posted eight point each for the visitors.
At halftime it was a commanding Colonials lead 43-28.
Robert Morris advances
The Sharks bit back to start the second half. A couple quick Colonials turnovers aided a 7-0 run for the visitors from Brooklyn. However, a Josh Williams three stunted Long Island’s charged. Robert Morris’ versatile big man Charles Bain aided the cause with a triple of his own. The home standing Colonials countered with 11 of the next 13 points.
Meanwhile, perhaps the lone bright spot of the afternoon for Long Island was Batts. He posted a game-high 23 points in a good showing for the Westmoreland County native.
However his effort was not enough for the visitors. Robert Morris posted five scorers in double-figures for the contest. Bramah finished the game with 18 points, four rebounds and two blocks. This included a rim rocking dunk to put an exclamation point on the afternoon.
After the game, Andy Toole said that the fast start was “energizing” for the Colonials.
“It was really our defense that carried us,” Toole said. “Holding them to two points in the first five minutes, for a team that averages 77 a game, I think is a tribute to the way our guys were moving their feet. We were able to ride that start to the victory. Happy for these guys and proud of the way they prepared themselves and performed tonight.”
Robert Morris rolled to a convincing 86-66 victory over the Long Island Sharks. The win sets up the NEC Conference Championship game against the Saint Francis Red Flash. The contest will be held in Moon Township on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
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