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January 12, 2013Tweet Follow @achiappazzi
No problem for Robert Morris.
RMU shook off an early injury to Jones, McFadden fought through several bumps and bruises, and Lucky Jones showed he learned his lesson after a one-game suspension as the Colonials defeated Monmouth 70-55 at the MAC in West Long Branch, New Jersey.
The Jersey sweep helped push Robert Morris to 2-2 in the Northeast Conference with three of their next four league games coming in the comfort of the Charles L. Sewall Center.
Saturday night, Robert Morris showed it was comfortable in a little bit of adversity. McFadden tweaked an undisclosed injury early in the game but fought through to play 29 minutes, scoring 12 points and pulling down seven rebounds.
"We had to kind of piece it together there a little bit," Toole said on his post-game radio show. (Anthony Myers-Pate) comes in and gets into foul trouble a little bit, which made it more interesting. But when you defend people, you can overcome some of those things. When you defend people the way we did tonight and rebound the way we did tonight, you can overcome some of those deficiencies."
Velton Jones, meanwhile, played just three minutes after taking an elbow to the head early in the first half. He spent several minutes down on the floor and much of the first half in the trainer's room before returning to the bench for the second half.
"We get a little bit nerverous when Velton goes down," Toole said. "We know what kind of warrior he is, so when he tells me he can't go, we know it's something serious."
In need of a lift, Robert Morris got one from Lucky Jones. The sophomore wing sat out Thursday's romp over Fairleigh Dickinson because of a violation of team rules, essentially a demand that Jones put his head back on straight after a stretch of weak games and uninspired practices. Jones got the message, providing 18 points and 8 rebounds.
"That's the Lucky that we need if we're going to be a really good team," Toole said. "I think it's where he has to understand that he has to understand he has that kind of impact on our ballclub."
After a sluggish start, Robert Morris methodically pulled away. The game resembled typical Monmouth-Robert Morris clashes, lacking in offense and flow for much of the game as the two defenses clicked into high gear. Robert Morris led 29-21 at the half, but used a 10-3 start to the second frame to take an insurmountable lead.
Monmouth never crawled within single digits of Robert Morris in the second half. The Hawks shot 35.7 percent from the floor - including just 4-of-18 from 3-point range - and lost the rebound battle 49-34.
"Even their good ones were fully contested," Toole said. "There always seemed to be a hand, there always seemed to be some kind of rush for a little bit, and that can throw off your rhythm."
Russell Johnson capped off a strong Jersey swing with seven points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. He finished the weekend with 17 points, 20 boards, 11 assists, and 6 steals. Coron Williams also had another strong game, scoring 14 points and hauling down 6 rebounds while running the point for stretches of play.
"Coron's development the last few years in all aspects of the game has been great," Toole said. "He handled the ball tonight very well for us tonight like he's done all year."
Robert Morris returns home for games against Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac next week. Three out of the next four games are at home, with the only trip the short 2-hour ride out to Loretto to take on 1-win St. Francis (Pa.).
Officials: Guy Pagano, Jeff Bryant, Paul Huovinen
ColonialsCorner publisher Andrew Chiappazzi can be reached at email@example.com.
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