Colonials fall to Wagner, extend losing streak to two games

Nick Buzzelli, Assistant Sports Editor

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  The Robert Morris University men’s basketball program was unable to rebound from its thirteen point setback against Saint Francis (NY) and fell to the Wagner Seahawks 80-69Thursday night in Staten Island, New York in the first of a three game road trip.

  RMU started the game shooting 0-5 from the field and Wagner took advantage of it, beginning the game on a 14-4 run. It took Robert Morris nearly ten minutes of play to put up double digits on the score board, and as a result, the Colonials trailed for the entire first half.

  Latif Rivers torched the RMU defense, netting 28 points en route to his team’s 18th victory, which is the school’s best start since the 1955-56 campaign.

  “We just had another defensive breakdown,” explained an unhappy Andy Toole after his club’s second consecutive loss. “I don’t know what it is but this team has stopped defending and I have to figure out how to get it back.”

  Freshman Brandon Herman scored 11 points for the Colonials, while Mike McFadden and Velton Jones contributed 10 and 9 tallies respectively for a Robert Morris team that drops its fourth Northeast Conference game of the season.

  Although coach Toole was glad to see Herman record a career high in points, he was not pleased with the way other players responded and performed against WC.

“He [Brandon Herman] played great but you go into games like this expecting to count on certain individuals and when those individuals are non-factors, it makes it really difficult to be successful,” stated RMU’s second year skipper.

 Despite trailing by 14 at halftime, RMU battled back and eventually came within seven late in the contest when Lucky Jones hit a deep three pointer. The comeback was too little too late however, as the Seahawks sealed the win by tallying nine points in the game’s final two minutes.

  Toole pulled all five of his starters out of the game three minutes in, as a way to shake things up and get the ball rolling offensively. His plan did not work accordingly however, as the Colonials struggled to put points on the board for the majority of the first frame.

  “I wasn’t happy with them [the starters]. I knew it was going to be an intense game so I wanted to give everyone a shot and get their feet wet,” Toole added. “At the same time I also wanted to try to give the team a lift.”

  According to coach Toole, the Colonials weren’t focused against Wagner and did not play with the same energy as they did in previous contests.

  “They were so amped up and we still came out with a lack of energy that is beyond me. It’s almost like they don’t think the other team is going to try very hard.”

Robert Morris concludes its three game road trip against Mount Saint Mary’s and Saint Francis (Pa) before returning home on February 11.

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