The Robert Morris Colonials (11-8, 5-1) beat the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (5-12, 2-4) Saturday afternoon.
In a much-needed victory, the Colonials were able to rebound from a tough home loss earlier in the week. In New Jersey, Robert Morris showed they had the toughness to put a slow first half start behind them and come back in the second half to pull out the win.
The script flipped from the previous game, as a slow start shooting from the field proved to be an obstacle in the first half. A cold start opened the door for a scrappy Knights squad to make this a tough contest.
Welcoming the Colonials into their gym, FDU looked to snap a two-game losing streak. Making the most of the slow-starting Colonials, the Knights shot 50 percent from the floor and 33 percent from beyond the arch.
The Knights dazzled fans by showing that they possessed some grit in this contest, out rebounding Robert Morris while scoring 46 points in the paint. Led by Mike Hollaway Jr.’s 25 points and 13 rebounds, the Knights took a 37-35 lead into halftime.
After allowing the Knights to take advantage of a pedestrian shooting display in the first stanza, The Colonials came out of the locker room with fire and a purpose. Although, it was not the offensive end of the floor that coach Andrew Toole was focused on.
“We had a lack of defensive energy,” Toole said. “We have not been crisp the past few weeks on the defensive end of the floor, and we have to figure out a way to clean that up moving forward.”
It proved to be an entertaining, back and forth second half, with all seven lead changes coming in the half. Robert Morris took advantage of the Knights inefficiency from the free throw line, as FDU shot 59 percent from the charity stripe. Comparatively, the Colonials shot 83 percent from the line.
The Colonials came up clutch from the free throw line late. Going eight for ten in the waning minutes of the contest. Dachon Burke made all four of his attempts from the line. Burke, for the second game in a row, led the Colonials in scoring with 25 points.
Also having a good game was Chartiers Valley’s own Matty McConnell, who pitched in with 11 points and four rebounds.
When the clock hit triple zeros, all efforts were rewarded as Robert Morris completed their comeback, capturing an 81-75 victory.
The win for Robert Morris improved their record in the Northeast Conference to 5-1, putting them firmly at second place behind Saint Francis.
Robert Morris travels to Sacred Heart on Thursday for a 6 p.m. tip-off.