RMU pounds Dukes for first home win of season


Kyle Gorcey

Kavon Stewart finished with 12 points and 11 assists as RMU rolled over A-10 foe Duquesne.

Nick Buzzelli and Nick Buzzelli

As the final seconds were winding off the clock in Robert Morris’ 75-59 victory over Duquesne, Jim Ferry had a few words for Andy Toole while congratulating him on the his team’s fifth consecutive win against its cross-town rival.

Ferry had to inform his counterpart that he isn’t alone.

In an epidemic that appears to be plaguing a vast majority of college basketball programs, the Duke’s head coach told Toole that he, too, is unable to get his players to exert and sustain effort for a full 40 minutes.

“I don’t know if it’s kids nowadays, society nowadays, they’re just not mentally tough kids and everybody’s looking for different things, looking to blame it on different things instead of people looking in the mirror. Obviously we all have to adjust because it’s not changing,” said Ferry, who is in his third season on The Bluff. “I’ve talked to a number of coaches who are friends of mine in the business and everybody’d having the same issue. … I think winning hasn’t become as important as it used to be.”

Rodney Pryor paced an RMU team that was without Lucky Jones by netting 25 points and Kavon Stewart’s 12 tallies and 11 assists propelled the Colonials (3-6) to their first home victory of the 2014-15 campaign Saturday afternoon.

“I wasn’t familiar with it [the rivalry] until this week. Everybody let it known that we don’t lose to Duquesne, like we’ve won the last four years,” said Pryor, a junior college transfer from Evanston, Illinois. “… We knew we needed a win with the losses we’ve taken previous to that so it added a little spice to it.”

Duquesne got on the board first courtesy of a Derrick Colter three pointer 45 seconds in.

On the ensuing possession, Pryor answered with a triple of his own and an Elijah Minnie pump fake dribble drive put the Colonials ahead for good.

The Dukes would come within four 4:13 into the final frame after back-to-back treys from Colter, but RMU exploded for 16 unanswered points to put the game out of reach.

Despite the fact that Robert Morris has struggled defensively for most of the season, the Colonials were able to use superb ball movement to breakdown DU’s zone and create open shots.

On the contrary, even though the Dukes gave themselves high percentage looks, they were unable to convert, finishing with a dismal 19-61 performance from the field.

“From a defensive standpoint, I thought we were much better and not give them really good looks. I thought guys continued to fly around and contest shots that, maybe in some other games we would have just stared and watched somebody shoot,” said Toole, who is undefeated as a head coach against Duquesne. “… It was nice to see and I’m happy for the guys with the way they’ve played.”

Robert Morris travels to Toledo on Wednesday to take on its second Mid-American Conference opponent of the year before returning to the Charles L. Sewall Center on Dec. 22 for a 7:00 p.m. matchup with Delaware.