Moon Township, Pa. (January 5, 2019) – Josh Williams hit a floater in the lane with 13 seconds remaining to put Robert Morris on top, and the Colonials held on to edge Mount St. Mary's by a 62-59 final on Saturday night. Vado Morse netted a career-high 19 points for the Mountaineers to lead all scorers in the contest.
After the layup from Josh Williams gave RMU a one-point advantage, the Mountaineers came down the court following a timeout with a chance to re-take the lead. Morse drove to the paint and laid one off the glass with four ticks on the clock while absorbing some hard contact from the Colonials. No foul was called and the shot rolled off the rim, and Cameron Wilbon came down with the rebound before dishing off to Josh Williams, who was fouled and sent to the line. Williams made both foul shots to put the Colonials up by three, 62-59. Following a Mount St. Mary's timeout, Brandon Leftwich inbounded it to the Mount's offensive end, where Omar Habwe came down with the ball. Habwe turned and fired from the wing, but his potential game-tying three fell short as RMU escaped with the 62-59 win.
Morse went 7-of-14 from the field for his 19 points, as he surpassed his previous career high of 18 set on a pair of occasions. Damian Chong Qui scored 13 points for the second straight game to tie his career high, as he registered 11 of his points in the second half. Jalen Gibbs was the other Mountaineer in double-figures with 11 points. Malik Jefferson pulled down a team-high eight boards in the contest.
The Colonials (7-8, 2-0 NEC) had four players finish in double-figures, led by 11 apiece from Malik Petteway, Josh Williams, and Matty McConnell. Petteway also added 10 rebounds to collect a double-double.
The Mountaineers shot 43.1 percent in the tilt, including a 53.8 percent (14-26) mark in the second half, while going just 4-of-17 (.235) from deep. Robert Morris shot an even 40 percent overall and made 5-of-19 (.263) from three-point territory. Both teams struggled at the foul line, with the Mount going 11-for-21 (.524), and RMU making 9-of-17 (.529).
Trailing by 11 coming out of the halftime break, Chong Qui ignited the Mountaineers early in the second, scoring the team's first eight points, capped by a traditional three-point play at the 18:13 mark, to cut the RMU lead to 32-27.
The Mountaineers (3-12, 0-2 NEC) continued to fight, whittling the deficit down to 45-43 with 9:53 left in the contest, which was the closest the Mount had been since the 15-minute mark of the first half. Mount St. Mary's knotted things up at 45-all just over a minute later following a pair of free throws from Collin Nnamene.
The Mount took its first lead of the contest, 51-50, with 5:23 remaining after a traditional three-point play from Morse, followed by a steal and layup by Nnamene. A Gibbs three-pointer gave the Mount a 54-51 advantage, and Morse hit one-of-two from the line on the next possession to make it 55-51.
RMU tied things up at 58-all following a pair of foul shots from Petteway at the 2:00 mark. After a Mount St. Mary's misfire, Petteway was fouled again but missed both free throws, and Habwe came down with the board. Morse was fouled on the other end and converted 1-of-2 from the line to give the Mount a 59-58 lead with 1:02 on the clock. The Colonials worked their way to the line on the ensuing possession, but missed a pair once again, this time coming from Cameron Wilbon. Matty McConnell pulled down the offensive rebound but missed the layup in the paint, and Chong Qui secured the board for the Mount. Chong Qui was fouled by McConnell, but also missed both his free throws, as the game remained a 59-58 Mount lead. RMU had the ball with a chance to take the advamtage, and Josh Williams converted for the Colonials with the floater, which proved to be the game-winning bucket.
The Mount hung tough with Robert Morris through the majority of the first half, never trailing by more than seven points in the opening 13-plus minutes of play. Heading under the eight-minute mark ahead by three, RMU reeled off nine straight points, led by six from Wilbon, to grab a double-digit lead at 24-12.
Morse hit 1-of-2 from the line to put an end to the Colonial run, before scoring in the paint on the next possession to make it a 24-15 game. The layup from Morse ended a stretch of nearly five minutes without a field goal for the Mountaineers.
RMU scored six of the game's next seven points to extend the lead to 30-16 with 1:50 on the clock. Habwe knocked down the Mount's first three-pointer of the contest on the team's final possession of the half to trim the deficit to 30-19 heading into the break.
The Mount was held to just 32 percent shooting in the half, including a 1-for-7 (.143) mark from downtown. Robert Morris posted a 38.7 percent shooting mark and drained 4-of-12 (.333) from deep.
Mount St. Mary's hosts its first home conference game of the season on Thursday, January 10 against Bryant at 7 p.m.