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November 26, 2012
It turns out Savannah State's defense is as gritty, nasty, and difficult to handle as advertised.
Savannah State frustrated Robert Morris to no end Monday night, holding the Colonials to 28.6 percent shooting in a 61-52 loss in Savannah, Georgia.
Robert Morris did make it interesting at the end. Down 43-24 with eight minutes left in the game, Robert Morris closed the gap with an 18-5 run to pull within two possessions. But that was the closest RMU would get.
"We were trying to do anything we could to give ourselves an opportunity to get back in the game," head coach Andrew Toole said on his post-game radio show. "Obviously we shot the ball so poorly and played offense so poorly, and while a lot of it was us playing poorly, you have to give credit to Savannah State. They really defend you well."
Savannah State didn't do anything outstanding offensively. The Tigers had 20 turnovers, shot just 40 percent (including 22 percent from three-point range), and generally put up numbers that RMU opponents put up. But the Colonials were so bad offensively, including 5-for-21 from three-point range, that they couldn't keep it close. Robert Morris struggled so much that the Colonials went without a field goal from the 6:55 mark of the first half to the 15:14 mark of the second half, scoring only two points in that span courtesy of two free throws.
"Some of our shooters have to make some shots, too," Toole said. "Four for sixteen from our two best shooters and our backcourt has to make some more plays and do some more things."
Those two shooters were Coron Williams and Karvel Anderson, who were ice cold from a distance that they're normally very consistent. Anderson eventually moved in closer and finished with 10 points, but the damage was done.
Even when Robert Morris did find a way to trim it to a two-possession game with 2:16 left, the Colonials couldn't get out of their own way. Williams was tagged with a personal foul, and Savannah State sank two free throws. Considering the run Robert Morris was on, Toole said it took the air out of the Colonials.
"You feel like you can get a stop there, instead we foul and they get two free throws and all of a sudden it goes from six to eight," Toole said. "A really deflating play."
"I thought we would get some more penetration against them, soften them up a little more than we did," Toole said. "Our offense took a toll."
It doesn't get easier for Robert Morris. The Colonials return home for a date with undefeated Ohio on Saturday.
"We know all about their excellence and what they've the last couple years, and they've got everybody back," Toole said. "It'll be a great test for us and hopefully we respond."
Technical Fouls: V. Jones
Officials: Terry Moore, Jackie Sanders, Matt Lee
ColonialsCorner publisher Andrew Chiappazzi can be reached at email@example.com.
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