Sweet, sweet victory! Robert Morris capped off a very fun day for the university with a 74-67 victory against Central Connecticut State. The Colonials improve to 7-13 and pick up a very crucial win in NEC play. They’re now 2-3 in the conference season.
-RMU played without Isaiah Still (knee) and Billy Giles (foot). We’re usually accustomed to RMU players missing time because of suspensions. It’s been awhile since anyone has ever really gotten hurt.
According to Chris Shovlin on the ESPN Radio broadcast, Still is scheduled to go for an MRI tomorrow, but the coaches don’t sound awfully concerned. Shovlin added that he was told if Still was absolutely needed, he could have played today.
Giles is a little bit more of an unknown. He’s seen a significant decrease in his minutes recently. If I had to guess, his injury might be more serious. Only time will tell.
-This was the second game RMU has played without Still this season. In both games, they’ve scored 74 points and won. Those 74 points are tied for the third-highest output in a game this season. Mind you, Still is the highest-scoring and most efficient guard on the team. Basketball can be weird.
-To help fill Still’s loss, Kavon Stewart dropped 21 points on 6-13 shooting. More notably, he went 8-9 from the line. Kavon’s been around a 60 percent free throw shooter for his career. He’s at 65 percent this season. The little things like that help. RMU shot a respectable 15-21 from the line tonight.
-Starting in Still’s place was Dachon Burke. This kid is just a joy to watch, especially on the defensive end. He reminds me a little of David Appolon. Winning plays after winning plays. Burke had 11 points and four boards in 31 minutes. His shooting is a little inconsistent, especially from deep, but you can see that the tools are there.
-I am about to propose something here:
Matty McConnell before Jan. 11:
-25-95 FG (24%); 11-57 3-pt (19%)
In the three games since:
-13-30 FG (43%); 12-28 3-pt (42%)
What happened on Jan. 11? His brother hit a game-winner against the Knicks! Thank you T.J. McConnell. We owe a lot to you — even if I am (unfortunately) a Knicks fan. RMU’s McConnell had 12 points in the game, knocking down two 3-pointers in the opening minutes and two more in the final moments.
-Central Connecticut State is 2-16 on the year. They weren’t all too great last year (4-25). That hasn’t stopped them from being a pain RMU’s ass in the Sewall Center. CCSU won at RMU last year, lost on a buzzer beater the year before, and won in 2014.
My point is, this was going to be a gritty game, especially without Still and Giles. It was nice to see some balanced scoring and prolonged stretches of defense. RMU never trailed in the game. That’s the way to take care of business.
That’s all for now. More on everything tomorrow.