|Robert Morris Concludes 2012 at Arkansas|
Robert Morris (8-4) @ Arkansas (5-4)
Thursday, December 20, 2012 • 8:00 p.m.
Bud Walton Arena (19,368) • Fayetteville, Ark.
Radio: WPIT-AM 730
Talent: Chris Shovlin (play-by-play) & Jim Duzyk (color)
Live Stream: ESPN3
Talent: Scott Inman (play-by-play) & Jimmy Dykes (color)
Audio available at www.rmucolonials.com
Follow RMU Men's Basketball on Twitter: @RMUMBasketball
Top Story - The Robert Morris University men's basketball team closes out a two-game road trip and in the process concludes its 2012-13 non-conference schedule Thursday with an 8:00 p.m. tip against Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark. The Colonials, winners of five straight and seven of their last eight contests, are coming off a 66-61 victory @ Louisiana-Lafayette (12/18/12) to open the road swing. Junior guard Karvel Anderson paced RMU in the win over the Ragin' Cajuns with 17 points, while redshirt junior guard Coron Williams scored 16 points on the strength of a 5-for-9 showing from beyond the arc. Redshirt senior guard Velton Jones contributed 11 points and five assists. During its five-game winning streak, Robert Morris is outscoring its opponents, 73.6 ppg to 63.6 ppg, and is converting 43.9 percent (54-for-123) of its attempts from beyond the arc. Upon completion of its tilt with the Razorbacks, the Colonials will have two weeks off before opening Northeast Conference action with a 7:00 p.m. tip against Bryant at the Charles L. Sewall Center Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.
Quick Stat of the Night - Robert Morris carries a five-game winning streak into Thursday's game @ Arkansas due in large part to its ability to convert from long range, and the top two shooters for the Colonials have been junior guards Karvel Anderson and Coron Williams. Combined, the duo have shot 54.8 percent (32-for-64) from beyond the arc over the last five games. Anderson has been especially effective, converting 21 of his 33 attempts, a success rate of 63.6 percent. During that stretch, Anderson has gone 8-for-8 from international waters in an 84-76 win over Ohio (12/1/12), hit the game-winning three-pointer with 4.5 seconds left to lift RMU to a 61-58 victory @ Campbell (12/4/12) and buried a three-pointer with under a minute left to help seal a 66-61 win @ Louisiana-Lafayette (12/18/12). Overall in 2012-13, Anderson leads Robert Morris in three-pointers (31) and three-point field goal percentage (.443).
Thursday's Opponent and The All-Time Series - Robert Morris and Arkansas will meet for the first time on the hardwood Thursday night at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks are one of four opponents RMU is facing for the first time in school history in 2012-13, joining Bowling Green (11/19/12), Savannah State (11/26/12) and Campbell (12/4/12). The Colonials own a record of 2-1 (.667) so far this season when facing off with an opponent for the first time, as Robert Morris posted a 71-60 win over BGSU in the inaugural meeting between the two programs at the Charles L. Sewall Center as part of the consolation round of the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off, suffered a 61-52 setback @ Savannah State and earned a 61-58 victory @ Campbell (12/4/12).
Straight Shooter - Redshirt junior guard Coron Williams is heating up at the right time for Robert Morris. During RMU's five-game winning streak, Williams has scored at an 11.6 points per game clip with shooting 44.8 percent (13-for-29) from beyond the arc. Williams enters Thursday's tilt @ Arkansas coming off back-to-back 16-point performances in victories over Duquesne (12/15/12) and @ Louisiana-Lafayette (12/18/12). Against the Ragin' Cajuns, Williams drilled five three-pointers, the sixth time in his career he's connected for at least five three-pointers in a game. In those contests, the Colonials are a perfect 6-0. Thanks to his performance @ Louisiana-Lafayette, Williams pushed his career total in three-pointers to 163, moving him into seventh place all-time at Robert Morris.
Tattoo You - While RMU's outside shooting has been key for the Colonials during their five-game winning streak, the offensive exploits of junior forward Mike McFadden has also given Robert Morris a boost. Over the last five games, McFadden is supplying the Colonials with averages of 8.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 75 percent (18-for-24) from the field. McFadden enters Thursday's game @ Arkansas ranked second in the Northeast Conference in field goal percentage at 62.5 percent (40-for-64). While it may be early in the 2012-13 campaign, McFadden is looking to become just the fourth player in school history to shoot at least 60 percent from the field during a season as well as the first since former Colonial Steve Napper (1993-98) set a single-season school record by converting 66.2 percent (96-for-145) of his shots in 1997-98.
Dishing It Out - Velton Jones has been RMU's floor general for the last four years, and the proof is in the numbers. Jones enters Thursday's game @ Arkansas ranked third in the Northeast Conference in both assists (5.42 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.10). Just the eighth player in school history to eclipse 400 career assists, Jones needs 98 assists to eclipse the career record of 555 that is held by former point guard Forest Grant (1980-84). He would need to average 5.2 assists per game over RMU's final 19 regular-season contests to eclipse the mark.
Block Party - It's early in the 2012-13 campaign, but it may be safe to say that Robert Morris has never had as natural a shot blocker in school history than junior forward Vaughn Morgan. Through the first 12 games of the season, Morgan has recorded 18 blocks, an average of 1.50 per contest that is tied for second in the Northeast Conference with Wagner's Mario Moody. Based on his current average, Morgan will shatter the Robert Morris single-season record for rejections. Former Colonial Rob Robinson (2008-10) finished with 35 blocks during the 2008-09 campaign, breaking a record that had stood for almost 25 years. Morgan, meanwhile, is on pace to finish the regular season with 47 blocks.