MOON TOWNSHIP — Strong performances from AJ Bramah (14), Dante Treacy (14) and Josh Williams (24) led the way for the men’s basketball team (4-8), as they defeated Central Michigan University (7-5) by the score of 83-79. It was the last home non-conference game of the season for Robert Morris, with the only non-conference game remaining this decade being at UNLV (4-7) on Saturday.
The first half was close throughout, with neither team pulling ahead by more than four until Central Michigan took a five-point, 35-30 lead with 4:08 remaining in the half. Central Michigan had the lead with 8:20 left in the half, after things were tied 25-25. While Robert Morris kept it close, Central Michigan had a 16-9 run to end the half with a 41-34 lead.
“We’ve seen glimpses of (potential) in every game, but we haven’t been able to sustain it for 40 minutes,” said Robert Morris coach Andy Toole. “We challenged them at halftime on some things, and they chose to respond to it this way.”
In the first half, David DiLeo for Central Michigan was the difference-maker, as he led all scorers with 15-points on 4-8 shooting, all four from the three-point line. Overall, there were 12 lead changes in the first half, and rebounds were evenly split 18 apiece, which further shows how close the game was to this point despite the difference in score.
Central Michigan extended its lead to 11 at the start of the second half, which was the largest spread in the game. The Colonials then used a 16-5 run to tie the game at 53-53 with 14:03 left in the game. In the remaining 14:03 of the game, neither side was able to pull away, and the largest lead was a five-point, 78-73 lead that Robert Morris had with a 1:55 left.
“Central Michigan is a really good team, and they can really score the ball,” said Toole. “I thought our guys did a good job of staying with it. We got back and guarded the way we needed to in the second half. We did a better job of being physical whenever they got in the paint. When you make some shots it’s a little bit easier to continue to work and fight, but I think they proved to themselves if they keep doing the right things and keep working good things can happen.”
With 1:28 remaining in the game, Devontae Lane made a lay-up and was fouled by Braham. He then missed the foul shot, and the rebound was grabbed by Josh Williams, who was almost immediately fouled. He missed the free throw, and Central Michigan pulled down the rebound and scored, pulling themselves within one with 0:39 left in the game.
The Colonials missed three free throws in the remaining time but pulled away with the 83-79 victory.
“It’s been about coming together and fighting as a team,” said Josh Williams. “We stuck together and had a certain amount of cohesiveness that we needed to pull the game out today. Guys were feeding off good offensive performances, and that helped us out defensively. It’s good all the way around.”
Josh Williams led all scorers with 24 points, seven of which came off free throws. Bramah and Treacy each finished with 14 points on 5-8 (Bramah) and 5-9 (Treacy) shooting. Furthermore, Bramah finished with seven rebounds, which led the game, and Jon Williams had a strong presence on the court as he finished with a plus/minus of 12, as no one other than Treacy (10) finished with a plus/minus in the double-digits for either team.
The Colonials’ last non-conference game will be against UNLV on Saturday in Las Vegas at 3:00 p.m. After that, the Colonials began conference play at Central Connecticut (0-10) on Jan. 2 at 7:00 p.m. They don’t return home till Jan. 9 to take on St. Francis Brooklyn (5-6).