|Balanced Offense Propels RMU Over Fordham|
Pittsburgh, Pa. - Redshirt senior guard Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast Catholic) was one of four Colonials to reach double figures in scoring as the Robert Morris University men's basketball team picked up its first win of the 2012-13 season Tuesday with a 74-58 victory over Fordham at the Petersen Events Center as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
RMU improved to 1-2 with the win, while the Rams slipped to 0-3.
Branden Frazier hit a three-pointer and Chris Gaston converted a layup in the first two and-a-half minutes to bolster Fordham to an early 5-0 lead, but an 11-0 run gave the Colonials an 11-5 edge.
RMU found its range from beyond the arc during the salvo, as redshirt junior guard Coron Williams (Midlothian, Va. / Christchurch School) hit a three-pointer and junior guard Karvel Anderson (Elkhart, Ind. / Glen Oaks Community College) converted a pair.
The two teams would trade baskets, with a Frazier coming through with a dunk for Fordham that trimmed RMU's advantage to 18-15 with 11:11 to go in the first half.
However, an 8-0 spurt gave Robert Morris its first double-digit cushion, 26-15. Four different Colonials scored, including a three-pointer from Williams and a jumper from freshman forward Stephan Hawkins (Gary, Ind. / Bowman Academy).
RMU kept Fordham at bay the rest of the first half, owning a 35-23 edge after a pair of free throws from Anderson with 2:17 to play before halftime, and eventually entered intermission with a 37-29 advantage.
In the second half the Rams bolted out with a 10-2 run to tie the game, 39-39, at the 16:47 mark as Gaston converted a pair of wrap around layups and Bryan Smith buried a pair of three-pointers.
Robert Morris called timeout, and Hawkins came through on the next possession, pulling down an offensive rebound and hitting a jumper in the paint to push the Colonials back on top, 41-39.
After a stretch of almost two and-a-half minutes without either team scoring, Williams buried his fourth three-pointer to give RMU a 44-39 cushion with 13:49 to go.
Frazier would make it a one-possession game for the Rams with a three-point play, but Robert Morris took control with a 15-2 run that spanned over seven minutes. Jones scored eight points during the surge, while Anderson hit a pair of jumpers.
Despite scoring their last field goal with 6:06 remaining thanks to a tip-in by Hawkins, the Colonials sealed the win with their last 15 points at the free-throw line.
Jones finished 9-for-10 at the charity stripe to help bolster his game-high 18 points, while Anderson scored 16 points off the bench and also grabbed seven rebounds.
Sophomore forward Lucky Jones (Newark, N.J. / St. Anthony) added 15 points and a game-high nine boards, and Williams contributed 13 points on the strength of a 4-for-7 showing from international waters.
Frazier scored a game-high 21 points to pace Fordham, while Smith added 12 points and Gaston scored 11.
Robert Morris continues its road trip to open the 2012-13 season with a 2:00 p.m. tip against Xavier at the Cintas Center Saturday, Nov. 17. The Colonials will then complete play in the NIT Season Tip-Off Monday, Nov. 19, and Tuesday, Nov. 20, with opponents and a site to be determined.