Bowling Green to test Colonials defense

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The Robert Morris basketball team's defense has been a strength for the past two games but will face a challenge tonight when Bowling Green visits the Sewall Center.

The Falcons, who play the Colonials at 7:30 p.m. as part of the consolation round of the NIT Season Tip-Off, feature two prolific scorers in seniors Jordon Crawford and A'uston Calhoun. Crawford, a 5-foot-6 guard, and Calhoun, a 6-foot-7 forward, score in different ways, but both average at least 18 points per game and put pressure on opposing defenses.

"Your entire team has to focus, and understand that at any point in time somebody's going to be able to hurt you from anywhere on the floor," Colonials coach Andy Toole said. "These guys are not only multi-dimensional, they do it within the framework of what they're doing offensively."

Calhoun scored 30 points in Bowling Green's overtime loss to Cleveland State Monday, and Crawford scored 24 against IUPUI the following day.

Scouting report
  • Matchup: Bowling Green (1-2) at Robert Morris (1-3), 7:30 p.m. today, Sewall Center, Moon.
  • Radio, Internet: WPIT-AM 730,
  • Bowling Green: Coming off an 80-66 loss to IUPUI Tuesday. ... Mid-American Conference team has made 14 of 55 3-point attempts, or 25.5 percent. ... G Jordon Crawford and F A'uston Calhoun have scored 110 of the Falcon's 202 total points this season. ... Calhoun also leads the Falcons in rebounding with 6.7 per game. ... No one besides Crawford or Calhoun scores more than seven points per game.
  • Robert Morris: Coming off a 61-59 loss at Xavier Saturday. ... G Velton Jones had 15 points and six assists and made 3 of 5 3-point attempts. ... Robert Morris and Bowling Green have never faced each other. ... Jones has made 21 of his 26 free throw attempts (80.8 percent).
  • Hidden stat: Robert Morris' 38.3 rebounds per game ranks second in the Northeast Conference.

"All of the defense's abilities are going to be tested," Toole said.

Robert Morris (1-3) has played well defensively its past two games, allowing 58 points in a win against Fordham Tuesday and 61 in a loss to Xavier Saturday. They allow an average of 71.8 points per game, which ranks fifth in the Northeast Conference.

Their offense, though, has scored 61.8 points per game, ranking them 10th out of the 12 teams in the conference, and their 34.7 field goal percentage ranks second to last.

"Even as much as you prepare in practice to try and simulate game speed every day in practice, there's always a little bit of an adjustment when you get into a live game," Toole said. "I think our guys are adjusting."

Robert Morris shot 41 percent against Xavier, including 9 of 24 from 3-point range. Guard Karvel Anderson helped in both departments, scoring a career-high 17 points in 23 minutes off the bench and making three of his eight 3-point attempts.

"I think he was getting some good looks," Toole said. "I think our guys did a nice job of finding him when he was open."

Forward Russell Johnson, who missed the first three games of the season because of a high ankle sprain, started Saturday's game and scored eight points in 26 minutes. Toole said Johnson was sore Sunday but expected him to play tonight.


Bill Brink: and Twitter @BrinkPG.


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