|Colonials Down Vikings, 71-62, in NIT Finale|
Moon Township, Pa. - The Robert Morris University men's basketball team concluded play in the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off Tuesday night with a 71-62 victory over Cleveland State in the consolation round at the Charles L. Sewall Center.
Thanks to the win the Colonials evened their overall record at 3-3 on the 2012-13 season, while the Vikings slipped to 4-2.
RMU led the entire first half and also owned a 39-33 edge with 14:20 to play before CSU posted an 8-1 run to take its only lead of the contest, 41-40, with 12:21 remaining.
Anton Grady started the surge with a layup, while Junior Lomomba converted a three-point play. Charlie Lee, who led all scorers in the contest with 20 points, buried a three-pointer to give the Vikings the lead.
Robert Morris weathered the surge by Cleveland State, as junior forward Mike McFadden (Newark, N.J. / Technology) converted a layup to push the Colonials back in front, 42-41.
Redshirt junior guard Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast Catholic) followed with a layup, and McFadden added a dunk off a feed from Jones to help RMU extend its advantage to 46-41 with just under 10 minutes to go.
Grady would help the Vikings close to within 52-50 after a layup at the 5:52 mark of the second half, but Robert Morris used a 9-2 spurt to push its lead to 61-52. Four different Colonials scored during the run, including a three-pointer from junior guard Anthony Myers-Pate (Washington, D.C. / Charis Prep).
The Vikings had one last charge, as two free throws by Lomomba and a three-pointer from Tim Kamczyc helped CSU trim its deficit to 61-57 with just two and-a-half minutes left, but Robert Morris sealed the win at the free-throw line, going 10-for-10 at the stripe in the final 2:03 of action.
In the first half, RMU jumped out to a 14-6 lead after a layup from junior forward Vaughn Morgan (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Southwestern Christian College), and twice before intermission the Colonials owned double-digit leads, including 26-16 with 3:39 left before halftime after a three-point play from Jones.
Cleveland State, however, closed the half on an 8-2 run to pull to within 28-24 at the break.
McFadden and Jones each scored 15 points to pace Robert Morris, with McFadden adding four rebounds and three steals and Jones recording six assists.
Sophomore forward Lucky Jones (Newark, N.J. / St. Anthony) added 13 points, a game-high eight rebounds and three steals for RMU.
Lee shot 7-of-9 from the floor, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc, and 1-for-2 at the chalk for his game-high 20 points and also added five assists and a steal for Cleveland State. Grady was the only other Viking in double figures scoring, registering 16 points to go along with seven rebounds, two assists and four steals.
A stretch of three games in four days now complete, RMU returns to action Monday, Nov. 26, with a 7:00 p.m. tip against Savannah State in Savannah, Ga.