For the second time in eight days, the Sacred Heart Pioneers (7-15, 2-7) met Robert Morris (13-9, 7-2) on the hardwood.
The Pioneers made their return trip to Pittsburgh hoping to avenge the loss suffered at the hands of the Colonials just a week ago.
Robert Morris, coming off a tough road loss which dropped them into a share of first place in the Northeast Conference, was looking for some home cooking in the form of a bounce-back win.
Unlike last week, Sacred Heart began the game filling the bucket. The Colonials were unable to jump on Sacred Heart as in the previous contest. Robert Morris didn’t do anything to hamstring first-half half efforts shooting 40 percent from the floor.
In fact, it was the Pioneers hot start from three-point land that made the difference, as Sacred Heart ripped 45 percent of their nine attempts from downtown in the first half. The hot start by the road team made the score knotted up at 26 at the end of 20 minutes.
The second half was a different story. Combined efforts from the Colonials backcourt trio of Matty McConnell, Dachon Burke and Jon Williams gave the team a spark.
Themes and trends to Robert Morris’ success this season came to fruition when they were most needed.
Guard play, which has become a staple of a winning formula was again the key. McConnell with all nine of his points coming in the second half. Dachon Burke with his customary team-high 17 points and nine points by Jon Williams carried the second half charge.
Sacred Heart, despite posting three players in double figures, followed up the first half shooting clinic by going ice cold from beyond the arc in the second half.
The Pioneers did not make a single three-point basket in the final 20 minutes, allowing the Colonials to build a 13-point lead late.
A lead that proved insurmountable for the traveling Pioneers.
At the final buzzer, the score read Robert Morris 64 to Sacred Heart 56.
The victory allows Robert Morris to keep pace with Wagner and Saint Francis in the NEC. With February approaching, the NEC is turning into quite the struggle for the regular season conference championship.
Next game is a home tilt vs. the Wagner Seahawks. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. at the PPG Paints Arena.