What to watch for: RMU vs. St. Francis PA

Robert Morris and St. Francis PA will play the game of basketball in Moon Township this evening. We’ve got a 5 p.m. tip and the game, for us non-locals, can be watched on ESPNU.

These two teams met up just 12 days ago in Loretto, and the result was a 90-78 loss for the Colonials. In that game, SFU’s Ben Millaud-Meunier had 29, Malik Harmon had 22, Ronnie Drinnon had 16 & 12 and the Red Flash shot 13-27 as a team from three.

This is probably the biggest game RMU has played to date. At 5-7 in conference, the Colonials are jockeying for position in the conference standings. Not to mention, it’s always good to show out for a nationally televised audience against a rival.

Getting revenge

What a place to start! RMU and SFU have developed a nice little rivalry the past few years. Dating back to 2013-14, RMU holds a 4-2 advantage over the Red Flash. That includes an NEC tournament win two years ago.

However, St. Francis has always played RMU tough, and they look like a team with more talent this year.

At the end of the game a few weeks ago, the two teams apparently got into a pushing match while shaking hands at the end of games. It’s not hard to see why. SFU, led by Millaud-Meunier, is a team that likes to chat and really gets rolling with confidence.

RMU needs to walk the walk, not just talk to talk. They have to play hard and tough for 40 minutes. There should be a good energy in the building to work off of. The best revenge is celebrating a win on national TV.

The three ball

St. Francis is a team that lives and dies by the three ball. About 30 percent of their total points scored comes from the three. By comparison, a team like LIU is closer to 25 percent. St. Francis, as a team, is also shooting 37.2 percent from three, 64th in the country.

When St.Francis does miss, they usually have forward Ronnie Drinnon their to clean it up. Drinnon is an uber-efficient offensive player and rebounding machine, fresh off a 23 points, 20 rebounds performance against central Connecticut State.

Robert Morris, sporting one of the least-efficient offenses in the entire country, is not a good three point shooting team. Their 28.6 percent mark as a team from downtown is 343rd in the country. Bad!

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some guys who can’t find the touch. Rodney Pryor was a 40 percent three point shooter last year, a percentage that has dropped by a resounding 12 percent. Matty McConnell also has the looks of someone who can shoot it from three. He certainly likes to, now it’s time to start connecting.

Off the mark

Speaking of Pryor’s three-point shooting, RMU needs their talented senior to find “it” again. That’s not just with the three point shooting, but every aspect of his game. After carrying the team in the early season, Pryor’s been quiet since returning from a concussion a few weeks ago.

Perhaps he got back on track against Bryant, posting 14 points, 11 boards and one monster slam.

This is a real “prove it” game for the Colonials, and their best player needs to come out and play like it.

–Chris Cappella


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