St. Francis at Robert Morris, battle for NEC position

Robert Morris (9-19, 7-8) vs. St. Francis Brooklyn (12-16, 8-7)
When: Saturday February 20th, 4pm
Where: The Charles L. Sewall Center, Moon Twp PA
KenPom: RMU 309, SFBK 273
KenPom Line: RMU -1
Storyline: Robert Morris looks to sweep their homestead against the Brooklyn schools and get a little revenge over St. Francis who beat the Colonials earlier this season in a grind it out game. RMU trails the Terriers one game as they look to climb the NEC standings with only three games left in regular season play. 

Grind and Grit: There’s that word “grind” again. Every time these teams meet, its not the prettiest ball, but I love it. Toughness, grit etc. You choose your cliche. Robert Morris will need to be strong on the boards. It’s always a task as the Terriers have annually been one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Once again, they are one of the best in the NEC. They out rebounded RMU 51 to 28 the first time around. Ouch. 

RMU counters that with a stingy 2-3 zone that has been very tough on SFBK. Once again, they have struggled to shoot the ball from distance. They are the 8th worst team in the NEC shooting only 31 percent from three. With all that said, they are coming off one of their best games, a win at St. Francis PA in which they made just enough shots, and supplied stingy defense in a 70-58 win. 

Back in Action: Freshman Isiah Still will return from a three game suspension. He was playing his best ball of the season before the violation, and will supply RMU with some nice depth. In his absence fellow freshman Steve Whitley provided great energy and productivity. Rodney Pryor picked up his offense as well, and the Colonials went 2-1 without their star freshman. With Still back, RMU will have the firepower to make a run. 

Speaking of Pryor, watch out…. Chris touched on him here. Pryor was really struggling post concussion, but then something clicked. The senior has dropped 27 and 24 in each of the last two games, while knocking down six three’s on 17 attempts. He also has attacked the rim and gotten the opposing team in foul trouble. RMU will need more of the same today. 

Prediction: I really like what I’ve seen the past two weeks. The team has played much better on each end, has showed a lot of heart, and looks dangerous. This game will be a battle, but I think RMU will find enough offense to squeak out a tight win, 64-59. 

–Lee Kunkel


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