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December 1, 2012
Anderson's 28 propels RMU to win over Ohio
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Ohio University was the darlings of last year's NCAA tournament, making a run to the sweet 16, but there is one team they're tired of seeing.
"Obviously it's frustrating, they've got us all the years I've been here apart of this team," said guard Walter Offutt.
The Robert Morris Colonials defeated the Ohio Bobcats for the fourth straight year by a score of 84-76 in front of 1,163 energetic fans in the Sewall Center.
"I thought we had some major breakdowns early, especially, in transition, and the entire night we were a step late closing out on good shooters," Ohio coach Jim Christian said. "I think if you let a guy get going early, as the game goes on he gets a lot of confidence.
"That guy" for the Colonials was junior guard Karvel Anderson. Anderson finished the game with 28 points on 10-of-10 shooting (including eight three pointers). Anderson's 28 were twice more than the next leading scorer, Russell Johnson.
As a team, Robert Morris shot a staggering 56 percent from the field and 67 percent from beyond the arc. Ohio came into their first road game and shot ten percentage points lower than their season average of 50 percent and took 31 three's, something Christian said was a byproduct of RMU "packing the lane".
A big key in Robert Morris' defensive success was the elevated play of sophomore guard David Appolon. Back-up guard Anthony Myers-Pate(ankle) was out, which meant more minutes for Appolon, who hadn't played since the opening night at Rider. Appolon said he wanted the tough task of slowing down star guard D.J. Cooper.
"I was trying to get in his (Cooper) head, on offense or defense. I really think I slowed him down from there. I told the coaches, 'Yeah, I got number five'." he said. "Every time I slowed him down I clapped in his face, I was trying to pick up energy with Anthony being out, I was just trying to bring energy.
"He (Appolon) was the key to this game," added senior point guard Velton Jones.
Robert Morris jumped out to a great start in the first half, leading by as much as 19 with seven minutes to go, and played solid defensively and on the boards. However, Ohio went on a run at the end of the half and cut the lead to six.
The second half was a rollercoaster ride. Robert Morris turned the ball over a little more (15 in the game) and Ohio did a much better job on the boards (12-3 advantage in offensive rebounds). Despite all this, Ohio could never get over the hump, only getting within three points a few times.
"Every time we got the game to five or six, we fouled, and it was a position foul, it was an overly aggressive foul, it was just silly things," Christian said. "We weren't changing the way we played with the way the game was being called."
Robert Morris iced the game late with back-to-back possessions that resulted in three pointers from Coron Williams (seven points) and Anderson. Two minutes later, Robert Morris (4-4) handed Ohio (6-1) their first loss of the season.
"A great, great win for us this year," said head coach Andy Toole. "I was very proud of the way they continued to fly around and try and contest shots and continue to try and get stop after stop after stop."
Robert Morris will take on Campbell University this upcoming Tuesday.
Officials: Guy Pagano, John Regan, Rod Mrakovich
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