|Jones' Floater Propels RMU Over Blackbirds|
Brooklyn, N.Y. - Redshirt senior guard Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast Catholic) connected for a floater in the lane with 9.8 seconds to play to help the Robert Morris University men's basketball team earn a split in its swing through Brooklyn, N.Y., with a 60-57 victory over LIU Brooklyn at the Wellness Center Saturday afternoon.
The Colonials improved to 15-8 overall and 7-3 in the Northeast Conference with the win, while the Blackbirds slipped to 11-11 overall and 6-4 in league play.
In a game that featured nine ties and 18 lead changes, LIU owned a 57-56 advantage with 34 seconds to go. Out of an RMU timeout, redshirt senior forward Russell Johnson (Chester, Pa. / Chester) missed a jumper, but the Blackbirds couldn't corral the rebound, knocking it out of bounds.
Faced with a second chance with 16 seconds remaining, Jones curled around a screen and converted his patented jumper in the lane to push RMU on top, 58-57.
On LIU's ensuing possession, Troy Joseph turned the ball over, then sent junior guard Karvel Anderson (Elkhart, Ind. / Glen Oaks Community College) to the free-throw line after a foul. Anderson sank both attempts to give Robert Morris a 60-57 cushion with 2.5 seconds to play.
LIU Brooklyn called timeout, and Jamal Olasewere's last second three-point shot from the wing was short, giving the Colonials the win.
RMU owned a 32-29 advantage at the break but trailed, 37-35, after a three-pointer from Jason Brickman at the 18:47 mark of the second half.
The Colonials responded with a 14-4 surge to take their biggest lead of the game, 49-41, as Johnson scored seven points and sophomore forward Lucky Jones (Newark, N.J. / St. Anthony) added five points.
Velton Jones would give Robert Morris a 51-43 edge with 10:21 to play after a layup, but the Blackbirds answered with a 7-0 spurt to pull within 51-50.
Johnson's jumper with 6:44 remaining helped the Colonials stem the tide and take a 53-50 advantage, but LIU Brooklyn grabbed the lead back at the charity stripe, as Brickman connected for five straight free throws to give the Blackbirds a 55-53 edge with 3:01 left.
Anderson would push RMU back in front, 56-55, with a three-pointer with 2:27 remaining, but Olasewere answered for the Blackbirds with a jumper in the lane to give LIU a 57-56 edge and set up the final basket of the game by Velton Jones.
Anderson paced Robert Morris with 13 points off the bench, while Johnson scored all 12 of his points in the second half after being saddled with three fouls before intermission.
Brickman took home game-high scoring honors with 19 points and also added four assists, while Olasewere finished with 18 points and a game-high 12 boards.
Robert Morris returns home to the Charles L. Sewall Center for its next two games, beginning Wednesday, Feb. 6, with a 7:00 p.m. tip against in-state rival Saint Francis U. in a game that will be televised live on Root Sports.