Colonials enter postseason on a hot streak

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Russell Johnson scored 20 points to lead five Robert Morris players in double figures as the Colonials ended their regular season with an 81-61 Northeast Conference victory -- their fifth in a row -- against Central Connecticut State Saturday in New Britain, Conn.

The Colonials (22-9, 14-4) are the conference's regular-season champion and will host St. Francis Brooklyn in the first round Wednesday at Sewall Center.

Robert Morris jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the opening four minutes and led, 43-29, at the half. Coron Williams had 14 of his 17 points in the first half and sank 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Three of Williams' 3-pointers came on consecutive possessions.

The Colonials never led by fewer than 14 points after halftime. Velton Jones finished with 12 points, 7 assists and 4 steals, and Lucky Jones and Mike McFadden had 10 points each, with Lucky Jones also grabbing 10 rebounds.

The Blue Devils (13-16, 9-9), seeded seventh in the NEC tournament, were led by 17 points from Matt Hunter, 11 by Kyle Vinales -- half of his average -- and 10 by Brandon Peel.

Johnson, who finished 8 for 14 from the field -- including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc -- gave the Colonials a 16-point lead with 5:59 left. Anthony Myers-Pate gave Robert Morris its biggest lead of the game at 81-54 on a layup with 2:25 remaining.

Despite getting outrebounded, 34-27, the Colonials were efficient offensively. They shot 48.4 percent (30 of 62), including 44.4 percent (12 of 27) on 3-pointers.

Vinales, who entered the game as the sixth-leading scorer in Division I, was held to 3-of-15 shooting and an 0-for-6 performance from 3-point range.

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