|Colonials Slip to 0-2 in the Northeast Conference|
Moon Township, Pa. - The Robert Morris University men's basketball team slipped to 0-2 in the Northeast Conference for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign Saturday night and dropped their third straight game overall with a 77-70 setback to Central Connecticut State at the Charles L. Sewall Center.
RMU fell to 8-7 overall on the 2012-13 campaign with the setback, while the Blue Devils improved to 5-8 overall and 1-1 in league play.
The first half featured four ties and six lead changes, with Matt Hunter giving CCSU a 31-26 lead at the 4:38 mark of the first half with a layup.
Robert Morris responded with a three-pointer from junior guard Anthony Myers-Pate (Washington, D.C. / Charis Prep) and a layup from sophomore guard David Appolon (Philadelphia, Pa. / Imhotep Charter) to tie the game, 31-31, then grabbed a 33-32 edge with a jumper from redshirt senior forward Russell Johnson (Chester, Pa. / Chester) with 3:02 to go before the break.
Central Connecticut State would close the half on a 6-1 spurt to grab a 38-33 advantage at halftime, as Kyle Vinales hit a three-pointer, Joe Efese converted a layup and Terrell Allen went 1-for-2 at the free-throw line.
The Blue Devils surged to begin the second half, using a 9-3 run to open up their first double-digit lead of the contest, 51-40, with 15:10 to play. Brandon Peel scored four points for CCSU, while Vinales hit a three-pointer and a jumper.
RMU didn't wilt, hanging a 13-3 run of its own on Central Connecticut State to take a 54-53 edge at the 11:08 mark of the second half.
Junior forward Vaughn Morgan (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Southwestern Christian College) started the run with a dunk, while junior guard Karvel Anderson (Elkhart, Ind. / Glen Oaks Community College) scored five points.
Vinales, however, put the Blue Devils on top for good with a jumper with 10:33 to go, part of a 34-point performance for game-high honors on the night.
Vinales converted 12 of his 22 shots from the field, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc, and was 6-for-9 at the charity stripe. In two career games at the Sewall Center, Vinales has scored 66 points.
Allen added 12 points off the bench for CCSU, while Adonis Burbage and Hunter each scored 11. Peel added four points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Colonials were led by redshirt senior guard Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast Catholic), who eclipsed the 20-point plateau for the second straight game with 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting. He also added four assists and three steals.
Anderson was the only other player in double figures for Robert Morris, scoring 15 points while adding three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
RMU, which has dropped back-to-back NEC home games for the first time since 2004-05 and is 0-2 in the NEC with both losses coming at home for the first time in school history, returns to the court Thursday, Jan. 10, with a 7:00 p.m. tip at Fairleigh Dickinson.