Men's Basketball Falls To Robert Morris, 64-62, In NEC Semifinals

HAMDEN, Conn. - Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) had nine points and 10 rebounds to become the Northeast Conference's all-time leading rebounder (1,025), but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team was defeated by Robert Morris, 64-62, Sunday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 22-9, while the Colonials improve to 18-13 and move on to Wednesday's NEC Tournament Championship Game at top-seeded Long Island. The Bobcats now wait for a potential at-large invitation to a postseason tournament.

Rutty passed Central Connecticut's Ron Robinson (1,022) for first all-time among Northeast Conference rebounders. Deontay Twyman (Olney, Md.) had a team-high 14 points, while James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) added 13 points. Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) contributed 10 points and a game-high nine assists.

Coron Williams scored a game-high 15 points for Robert Morris, while Lijah Thompson and Russell Johnson contributed 14 points each. Velton Jones added 13 points, eight assists and three steals for the Colonials.

In total, the game saw 22 lead changes and 12 ties. Quinnipiac built its largest lead of the game on Dominique Langston's (Bridgeport, Conn.) fast-break lay-up at the 1:43 mark of the first half. Russell Johnson responded immediately with a three-pointer at the 1:23 mark and the teams traded two-point buckets to give Quinnipiac a four-point cushion at the half.

Robert Morris scored the first six points of the second half to take a two-point lead. The advantage swelled to as many as four on Yann Charles' jumper at the 15:30 mark. Following nine lead changes and five ties, Russell Johnson's lay-up with 1:58 left in regulation re-established the Colonials' four-point lead. Twyman then buried a three-pointer with 1:36 remaining and followed by drawing a charge on Lijah Thompson. Dave Johnson was then fouled and made two free throws with 57 seconds left, giving Quinnipiac a one-point lead, 62-61.

Russell Johnson drew a foul with 41 seconds left. He made the first free throw, but missed the second. The long rebound was tipped around and out of bounds. After a discussion including all three referees, Robert Morris was awarded possession with 38.8 seconds left. The Colonials drained nearly all of the shot clock before Jones hoisted a floater from the right hip from just outside the lane that fell straight through.

With just over four seconds remaining in regulation, the Bobcats inbounded to James Johnson, whose last-second three-point attempt fell short.

For the game, the Colonials outshot the Bobcats, 48.1 percent (25-52) to 43.6 percent (24-55) from the floor and 40.0 percent (6-15) to 28.6 percent (4-14) from long range. Quinnipiac took a 66.7 percent (10-15) to 47.1 percent (8-17) edge from the free-throw line. Quinnipiac outrebounded Robert Morris, 41-25.