Cowboys cruise past Colonials in final contest of 2013


Kyle Gorcey

Karvel Anderson leaps into the lane.

The Robert Morris men’s basketball team wasn’t expected to knock off the No. 6 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in its final game of 2013.

But despite the fact that they didn’t leave Stillwater with a victory, RMU was able to play some of its best basketball of late, at least in the early portion of the first half, during a 92-66 setback to OSU Monday night at historic Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“We competed in spurts, which we’ve done all year. If you want to be a good team, you have to be consistent,” head coach Andy Toole said via the RMU basketball twitter account following the game. “We should be comfortable making the right decisions, regardless of the environment. Some of the breakdowns were disappointing.”

Robert Morris implemented a 2-3 zone early on that was able to force three Oklahoma State turnovers in the first 10 minutes, but, in the process, the Cowboys were able to find holes in the defense.

After spreading out RMU with quick, precise passes, OSU got uncontested looks, which opened the door for Phil Forte, who netted 11 of his 20 points during the first 20 minutes of play.

The Colonials, a team that typically shoots the three ball with consistency, struggled to knock down shots from beyond the arc, with Karvel Anderson, RMU’s leading scorer with 16 tallies, sinking two of his team’s six treys.

The speed of Robert Morris’s Big 12 opponent was evident from the opening tip and was a major reason why OSU began to run away with the game at the 7:03 mark, when the Cowboys extended their lead to 10.

RMU never came within eight.

In a game that featured more Markel Brown slam dunks (six) than points scored by Lucky Jones (four), the Colonials are still trying to figure out their defensive identity, but they only have 10 days to do so before the start of Northeast Conference play.

At 5-9, RMU’s record is sub-par, but then again, non-conference play is meant to serve as a way for a program to hone its skills by the time league play starts.

Because once NEC play begins, all teams in the conference can stake a claim for the league’s sole bid to the NCAA Tournament.

But, the Colonials will have once more opportunity to end their non-conference schedule on a winning note by taking on Alabama on January 4.