A tale of two halves: Colonials crumble against Wagner

Posted on Jan 28 2018 - 9:54pm by Jeremiah Rubash
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Robert Morris (13-10, 7-3) hosted the Wagner Seahawks for a Sunday afternoon tilt, with first place in the Northeast Conference up for grabs.

The Colonials, continued their homestand looking to beat the Seahawks after dropping the first matchup between the two squads last week.

Three-point shooting paced Robert Morris the entire first half. A superb shooting touch by Leondre Washington and Matty McConnell allowed the Colonials to lead all but one minute of the first half. Washington, going 3-4 from downtown lead all players with 13 points in the first half.

Hot shooting was contagious for Robert Morris in the half. As a team, they shot 61 percent from behind the arc.

For as good as Robert Morris was from the field, Colonial foul trouble threatened to foil their collective efforts in the half. The Colonials posted 11 team fouls and four players amassing two fouls apiece, including Dachon Burke, who was held to four points in 11 minutes.

Opposing foul trouble allowed Wagner to hang around in the half, not being able to contain Robert Morris defensively. Albeit, putting on a good offensive display themselves, shooting 40 percent from the floor. Despite benefiting off of the Colonials fouls and seven turnovers in the opening stanza, at the end of the first half, the scoreboard read Robert Morris 42, Wagner 32.

This game was “a tale of two halves” as head coach Andy Toole remarked after the game.

Wagner quickly erased a double-digit Colonial lead with a 10-0 run to start the second half. Before the Seahawks rampage came to a merciful close, Wagner scored 20 of the first 26 total points to open the half, lead by Blake Francis, who hit all five of his three’s in the final stanza.

Overall, leading all scorers with 21 points in the contest.

A myriad of mistakes for Robert Morris added to the Seahawks taking flight in the half, made a recipe for disaster for the Colonials.

The numbers for the Colonials told the story in the second half. Nine more turnovers, 12 more fouls and a head-scratching 18 percent from the floor. It was if a completely different team emerged from the locker room.

During his post-game comments, Toole cited “scars” helping Wagner as opposed to a lack of “scars” hurting his team in the second half.

Citing the difference in experience between the two squads, Toole preached urgency and discipline or a lack of, at different points of the game resulting in foul trouble.

Standout performances by Washington with 20 points and McConnell with 19 points were not enough to weather the second half storm by the Seahawks.

The final score from PPG Paints Arena was Wagner 77, Robert Morris 64.

The homestand¬†continues against Mount Saint Mary’s on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Photo of Robert Morris University’s Matty McConnell against Wagner University courtesy of Robert Morris Athletics.

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