|RMU Rings in New Year With NEC Play|
Bryant (7-4 / 0-0 NEC) vs. Robert Morris (8-5 / 0-0 NEC)
Thursday, January 3, 2013 • 7:00 p.m.
Charles L. Sewall Center (3,056) • Moon Township, Pa.
Radio: WPIT-AM 730
Talent: Chris Shovlin (play-by-play) & Jim Elias (color)
Audio and Video available at www.rmucolonials.com
Follow RMU Men's Basketball on Twitter: @RMUMBasketball
Top Story - The Robert Morris University men's basketball team returns to action after a 13-day break and opens the Northeast Conference portion of its 2012-13 schedule Thursday by welcoming Bryant to the Charles L. Sewall Center for a 7:00 p.m. tip. RMU concluded its non-conference season by splitting a pair of road games, earning a 66-61 victory @ Louisiana-Lafayette (12/18/12) before falling @ Arkansas (12/20/12), 79-74, which snapped a season-high five-game winning streak. Against the Razorbacks, junior guard Coron Williams and Karvel Anderson paced the Colonials with 17 points each, as the duo combined to shoot 10-for-20 (50 percent) from the field, including 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from beyond the arc. Junior forward Mike McFadden and redshirt senior forward Russell Johnson each scored 10 points against Arkansas, with Johnson adding eight rebounds. The Colonials close out a two-game homestand to open NEC play after taking on Bryant Thursday by hosting Central Connecticut State Saturday, Jan. 5, in a 7:00 p.m. tip at the Sewall Center.
Quick Stat of the Night - Robert Morris opens its 32nd season of competition in the Northeast Conference Thursday against Bryant and all-time owns a record of 15-16 (.484) in league openers. The Colonials are opening their NEC slate at home for the fifth time in the last six years and have had tremendous success against league foes at the Charles L. Sewall Center in recent years. Since the 2005-06 season, RMU has posted a 50-13 (.794) mark against NEC competition and all-time owns a record of 147-90 (.620) at the Chuck against league foes. Robert Morris also enters Thursday's NEC opener against Bryant having finished .500 or better at home against league opposition for 14 consecutive seasons. The last time the Colonials had a losing record at home against the league was the 1997-98 campaign, when RMU finished 1-7 at home against the NEC.
Thursday's Opponent and The All-Time Series - Robert Morris and Bryant will meet on the hardwood for the sixth time Thursday, with the Colonials having won each of the previous five meetings in the all-time series. RMU swept the 2011-12 season series from the Bulldogs, posting an 84-53 victory at the Chace Athletic Center (1/5/12) in Smithfield, R.I., followed by a 69-40 win at the Charles L. Sewall Center (2/16/12). In the two-game series, guard Velton Jones averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 40 percent (8-for-20) from the field and 73.7 percent (14-for-19) at the free-throw line. In the win at the Sewall Center last season, forward Lijah Thompson contributed 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while forward Lawrence Bridges finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Straight Shooter - Redshirt junior guard Coron Williams is heating up at the right time for Robert Morris. As the Colonials enter Northeast Conference play Thursday against Bryant, William has averaged 15.3 points over his last four games, converting 58.3 percent (21-for-36) of his shots from the field, including 64 percent (16-for-25) from beyond the arc. Williams enters Thursday's tilt against the Bulldogs coming off a season-high 17 points @ Arkansas (12/20/12), as he finished 6-for-7 shooting from the field, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Thanks to his performance against the Razorbacks, Williams pushed his career total in three-pointers to 168, which ranks seventh all-time at Robert Morris.
Tag Team - While redshirt junior guard Coron Williams has heated up from beyond the arc in recent weeks, he has teamed with junior guard Karvel Anderson to give Robert Morris a lethal combination from deep. Through the first 13 games of the 2012-13 season, the duo have combined for 67 three-pointers, an average of 5.2 three-pointers per contest. Anderson enters Thursday's Northeast Conference opener against Bryant ranked second in the Northeast Conference in three-pointers per game (2.69), while Williams ranks seventh (2.46). The duo are on pace to finish the 2012-13 regular season with 160 three-pointers, which would place Anderson and Williams as the top three-point shooting tandem in school history. The current record of 150 is held by former Colonials Jeremy Chappell (2005-09) and Jimmy Langhurst (2006-10), who turned the trick in 2008-09.
The Rock - Guard Velton Jones has been a rock for Robert Morris over the last four seasons, as the redshirt senior is in his final season of eligibility in 2012-13 owning the longest active streak for games played. Jones has played in 117 straight contests for RMU dating back to the 2009-10 campaign and owns 111 career starts, far and away the highest mark for a Colonial. Jones is just the fifth player in school history to start at least 100 career games, and thanks to his start @ Arkansas (12/20/12) ranks third all-time at RMU in career starts, trailing only former Colonials Andre Boyd (114) and Jeremy Chappell (120).
Start Me Up - Redshirt junior guard Coron Williams, the only Colonial to start all 37 games for Robert Morris in 2011-12, is RMU's active leader for consecutive starting assignments. Williams has started 55 straight games dating back to the 2010-11 season, the longest streak by a Colonial since redshirt senior guard Velton Jones started 70 consecutive games before having it snapped last season.