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Weekend Preview: Brooklyn comes for men’s basketball

MOON+TOWNSHIP+--+Malik+Petteway+takes+a+foul+shot+as+Matty+McConnell+watches+on+Feb.+7%2C+2019+%28David+Auth%2FRMU+Sentry+Media%29.+Both+Malik+Petteway+and+Matty+McConnell+are+players+to+watch+for+this+weekend.
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Weekend Preview: Brooklyn comes for men’s basketball

MOON TOWNSHIP -- Malik Petteway takes a foul shot as Matty McConnell watches on Feb. 7, 2019 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media). Both Malik Petteway and Matty McConnell are players to watch for this weekend.

MOON TOWNSHIP -- Malik Petteway takes a foul shot as Matty McConnell watches on Feb. 7, 2019 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media). Both Malik Petteway and Matty McConnell are players to watch for this weekend.

David Auth

MOON TOWNSHIP -- Malik Petteway takes a foul shot as Matty McConnell watches on Feb. 7, 2019 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media). Both Malik Petteway and Matty McConnell are players to watch for this weekend.

David Auth

David Auth

MOON TOWNSHIP -- Malik Petteway takes a foul shot as Matty McConnell watches on Feb. 7, 2019 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media). Both Malik Petteway and Matty McConnell are players to watch for this weekend.

Jonathan Hanna, Contributor

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MOON TOWNSHIP — After losing five of their last six games, the Robert Morris men’s basketball team (13-14, 8-6 NEC) looks to get back in the win column as they get set to host a pair of Brooklyn showdowns this weekend. The Colonials are set to battle the Blackbirds of LIU Brooklyn (12-14, 6-8 NEC) on Thursday, and the Terriers of St. Francis Brooklyn (16-11. 8-6 NEC) on Saturday. Tip-off for the LIU game is at 7:00 p.m., and for the SFB game, 5:00 p.m.

Recapping RMU

As previously mentioned, the Colonials have now lost five of their last six games, the lone win coming on Thursday, February 7 in a 72-59 thrashing of the Bryant Bulldogs. The Colonials currently sit in a five-way tie for second place in the NEC at an 8-6 conference record.

In the Colonials last game, on Saturday, February 16, they lost 72-69 to the Saint Francis Red Flash (14-11, 10-4 NEC). The Colonials were led in the loss by Matty McConnell and Koby Thomas, both of whom had 13 points on the night. Thomas added 13 boards for the double-double in his 2019 debut.

Scouting LIU Brooklyn

Sitting in seventh in the NEC are the Blackbirds of LIU Brooklyn. Before their latest game against Sacred Heart (12-15, 8-6 NEC), the Blackbirds had won only two of their last six games in the NEC.

Against Sacred Heart, the Blackbirds struck as they beat the Pioneers by a score of 92-84 at the Steinberg Center in downtown Brooklyn. The Blackbirds were led by the two-headed monster of Ty Flowers and Raiquan Clark. Both Clark and Flowers had 24 points in the win. In the game, the Blackbirds shot 45% from behind the arc.

Scouting St. Francis Brooklyn

Another team tied for second in the NEC, the Terriers have been playing well lately, with victories in three of their last four games.

The Terriers most recent game was a 90-79 victory on “Alumni Day” over the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (11-16, 5-9 NEC). St. Francis Brooklyn was led by Glenn Sanabria, who had 25 points on the night, and Rosel Hurley, who had 20. The Terrier defense held the Blue Devils to just 40% shooting on the night.

Players to watch

Matty McConnell (RMU): Always a key player in the Robert Morris starting five, McConnell is starting to wrap up his career as a Colonial. In his career against the Terriers and Blackbirds, McConnell averages a solid nine points per game. On the year, McConnell is averaging 9.6 points per game and is shooting 42/121 (.347) from three.

Malik Petteway (RMU): In the season’s two previous games against the Brooklyn foes, Petteway scored 23 points across both games, leading the Colonials. On the year, the senior from Waterbury, Connecticut is second on the team in scoring, averaging 10.8 points per game. Petteway is also averaging 5.5 rebounds per game.

Raiquan Clark (LIU): Clark, a guard/forward is the leading scorer on the Blackbirds, averaging 20.3 points per game, which is first in the Northeast Conference. While playing an average 33.1 minutes a night, Clark is shooting 191/379 (.504) from the floor, ninth in the entire NEC.

Glenn Sanabria (SFB): A graduate student from Staten Island, NY, Sanabria is a two-way threat for the Terriers. Sanabria is second on the team with 12.8 points per night and leads the team in steals with 34. His 34 steals put him 11th in the NEC.

Prediction

In order to stay with the no. 1 team in the NEC, the Saint Francis Red Flash, Robert Morris will need to win both of these games.

I believe that they will; although they have been on a bit of a down stretch as of late, the Colonials will finish strong this year, and that starts with beating LIU Brooklyn and St. Francis Brooklyn.

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