Unforced turnovers plague RMU in loss to Buffalo

Nick Buzzelli, Editor-in-Chief

After criticizing his team’s lack of effort following an eight point loss to Youngstown State Tuesday night, Andy Toole had to figure out a way to get his players to exert energy for a full 40 minute span.

Though for the second straight contest, Robert Morris did not respond to its coach’s request.

Coughing the basketball up 24 times, approximately half of which were uncontested, enabled Buffalo (5-2) to run away with a 74-59 victory over RMU (2-6) Sunday afternoon, en route to the program’s worst start at the Charles L. Sewall Center since the 2001-02 season.

“… A lot of times the teams that make the fewest mistakes win versus the team that makes the most positive plays and we just make so many mistakes that it’s hard to win,” the fifth year head coach said. “And so we got to keep talking about them, we got to keep emphasizing them, we got to keep stressing them, we got to keep begging guys to maybe think before they act, offensively and defensively because we just put ourselves in such difficult positions that it’s frustrating all the way around.”

Marcquise Reed paced the Colonials with 18 points in 22 minutes of play, Lucky Jones chipped in 12 and freshman Elijah Minnie recorded his first career double-double with a 10 point and 10 rebound performance.

Stephan Bennett came out firing, sinking an 18 foot jump shot 40 seconds in, but this would be the first and only time the Colonials held the lead.

On the ensuing possession, Lamonte Bearden answered with a jumper of his own and a Jarryn Skeete three pointer and Moss layup put Buffalo ahead by five.

Despite coming within three at the 10:16 mark of the first half, the Bulls pulled away from that point forward, extending its lead to as many as 21 with 9:25 remaining in the contest.

Even though it would be easy to blame the consistent mistakes that have plagued RMU on its lack of experience and young roster, Toole does not want to use that excuse as a “cop-out.”

“We have to coach it better instead of taking the bailout, ‘Oh, they’re young,’” he said. “… How many times do you have to stick your hand in the fire for it to get burned before you realize that’s probably not a good place to go,” the 34 year old said. “…I’m really hopeful, it’s at the top of my Christmas list, that we figure that out. Santa’s got the letter and we’re hoping that he comes through on it. I’ve been a nice boy all year.”