Robert Morris coach Andy Toole was anxious to see how the Colonials would compete Thursday night in their exhibition game against Division III Saint Vincent.
The Colonials won the game with relative ease, 81-67, though not without some nervous moments in the final five minutes as the Bearcats got within 10 points before Robert Morris scored a few key baskets to finally put the game away.
Robert Morris looked a lot like a team playing a game for the first time this season as they made a number of mistakes and turned the ball over a few too many times for Toole's liking.
He was also unhappy with the defensive effort, but was encouraged by the way the Colonials shot the ball, especially in the first half.
"The offensive performance we put forth in the first half is not typical of us as you have witnessed our splendid shooting in the past," Toole said.
"But our defense has to get so much better. It is a valuable experience for everybody as we can now go back to the film and use it to teach and get better.
"[Attention to detail] is something we have talked about since last week, I think we were a little loose with our details. We have started to work on them, but we have to improve dramatically in that area [before the opener]."
Toole has a week to refine the Colonials before they open their season at Rider.
He said he expects the same team that started against the Bearcats -- junior forward Vaughn Morgan, senior forward Russell Johnson, junior forward/center Mike McFadden, senior guard Velton Jones -- who left the game in the first half with what Toole said was a "tweak" in his groin -- and junior guard Coron Williams to get the start against the Broncs.
Early Thursday the Colonials took control with a barrage of 3-pointers as they hit six of them in the first seven minutes of the game.
The Colonials hot shooting continued throughout the first half and they were 11 of 13 from the 3-point line (85 percent) and 19 of 31 (61 percent) from the field and led at halftime, 54-31.
"In the first half we weren't worried about who was shooting the ball," said guard Anthony Myers-Pate. "As long as it was a good shot, we took it."
Williams led the way for the Colonials with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and he was 5 of 6 from the 3-point line while McFadden scored 11 points, Morgan scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Myers-Pate had 12.
The Colonials outrebounded the Bearcats, 35-25, forced 23 turnovers and finished the night 13 of 19 from the 3-point line (68 percent) and 18 of 33 from the free-throw line (55 percent).
The Bearcats were clearly overmatched in terms of size and athleticism, but they didn't back down from the Colonials and played them reasonably tough for the entire game.
Paul Zeise: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter: @paulzeise.