Robert Morris continues winning streak with 76-68 victory against Mount St. Mary

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The style of play that Mount St. Mary's coach Jamion Christian learned in his time as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth is a fast-paced one, highlighted by an unrelenting full-court pressure defense that has been dubbed as "havoc."

As one might expect, it is tough to prepare for a scheme with a fittingly frenzied name, much less with just less than 48 hours to do so.

But the Robert Morris men's basketball team, as it has proven numerous times throughout its recent win streak, was more than up for the task.

The Colonials were largely able to hold their own against the Mountaineers' press Saturday night at the Charles L. Sewall Center, helping them to a 76-68 victory. The game gave them their sixth straight win and put them in a tie for first place atop the Northeast Conference standings.

Eight Robert Morris players scored, led by guard Karvel Anderson's 22 points. Forward Russell Johnson scored 14 points, his fourth consecutive game with double-figure scoring, while guard Velton Jones added nine points and seven assists.

For much of the night, the Colonials were unfazed by the Mountaineers' uncompromising pressure, as they turned the ball over 15 times, just two more than their season average.

Leading 14-10 with 10:36 left in the first half, the Colonials gained a comfortable lead thanks to Anderson. Much in the same way he did Thursday night at Saint Francis, Anderson went on a scoring run, netting eight consecutive points to push his team's lead to 22-10 less than a minute later.

From that point, Mount St. Mary's would get no closer than six points, until the final minute of play when they cut the Robert Morris lead down to four points. But the Colonials would respond with four made free throws from Anderson and Johnson to hold on for the win.

Defensively, it was a step forward for Robert Morris. The Colonials, who entered the game having allowed each of their last two opponents to shoot better than 55 percent from the field, held the Mountaineers to 42.6 percent shooting, including a 28.6 percent clip in the first half.

Guard Jones recorded his 500th career assist in the first half, making him just the second player in school history to accomplish the feat.

Robert Morris will look to extend what is already a season-high six-game win streak when it returns to action Monday at St. Francis (N.Y.).

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Craig Meyer: cmeyer@post-gazette.com or on Twitter @craig_a_meyer.


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