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December 15, 2012

RMU hammers Duquesne for fourth straight win

Robert Morris shot the lights out in the second half of their 91-69 romp over Duquesne. Literally.

"You see the 1921 club down there? I immediately put my two cents in about getting a new building as soon as the lights went out," Robert Morris coach Andrew Toole said. "Yes, I thought we shot the lights out."

Toole is referring to the 21-5 tear his team went on to start the second half, which included making all eight of their shots (five three pointers). During that stretch, a row of lights went out in the Sewall Center.

"It (the 21-5 run) gives us a lot of confidence," said sophomore Lucky Jones. "As we continued to work and play together and swing the ball, and got open shots and good looks, it sunk their confidence and we gained more confidence."

After a slow start, Robert Morris fought back to take a 31-30 lead at half. The second half featured a shooting clinic on behalf of the colonials, one that displayed 60 points in the half with shooting percentages of 65 and 64 percent from the field and behind the arc, respectively. This led to an end result of a blowout win in a series that's typically been close.

Robert Morris was led in scoring by senior point guard Velton Jones, who had 22 points and six assists in 20 minutes of action. Jones started the second half with two 3-pointers and three assists in the first five possessions.

"I just felt in rhythm, I put a lot and a lot of extra work in this week. I just felt good coming into the game," Jones said. "I had a lot of open looks, my teammates got me open and I was just able to knock them down."

Former Long Island University coach and the now current Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said Jones was the key.

"He's a great player, he can do that anywhere. He can do it at Robert Morris, he can do it in the Big East, he can do it anywhere," said Ferry. "He is a great player and he's the head of that monster."

Duquesne is a young team who is struggling with consistency, according to Ferry. Fresh off of a comeback win in West Virginia, Ferry said his team was out-played tonight.

"They're just a better team than we are right now. That's a seasoned, veteran, winning program that outplayed us tonight and they deserve all the credit, they guarded us well," said Ferry. "I don't think I've ever seen 31 points off turnovers, and I've been doing this a very long time. I credit them, and shame on us, we didn't do what we were supposed to do.

As Ferry mentioned, Robert Morris scored 31 points off of 25 turnovers (19 steals) compared to the ten turnovers Robert Morris had.

Toole said the Robert Morris game plan was to force Duquesne to work in the paint rather than shoot the three ball.

"That's what we talked to our guys about, if they couldn't get great three point looks and make them at a high percentage, than they don't score as much. If you're game planning you want to take away a team's strength," Toole said. "They're going to try and make those three's, that's what they do game in and game out. I thought we made it difficult for them to do that."

Coron Williams added 16 points and Mike McFadden added 12 in the Colonials third straight win over Duquesne, a member of the Atlantic-10 conference. It's the first time Robert Morris has won three straight games against the Dukes in the series.

The Colonials won't return home until January 3. They begin a two-game swing through the south against Louisiana-Lafayette on December 18, followed by a trip to Arkansas on December 20, before returning home to play Bryant on January 3.

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