Robert Morris basketball's 10th win comes in last second
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Robert Morris entered Thursday's game against Youngstown State with a chance to reach 10 wins before Christmas for the first time in program history.
The Colonials pulled it off, and in electric fashion, as Coron Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Robert Morris (10-3, 2-0 NEC) a 59-56 road win against Youngstown State (6-6, 1-1 Horizon).
"We would have liked it to be a little less dramatic, at least for my health," coach Andy Toole said. "But I'm just glad we were able to figure out a way to win the game."
Williams had struggled for most of the night and finished 4 of 10 from behind the arc.
Still, with the game on the line, Toole drew up a play for his shooter.
"My teammates kept putting confidence in me, telling me to shoot the ball, shoot the ball," Williams said.
Velton Jones penetrated along the baseline, and when the defense collapsed to him, he kicked it out to an open Williams, who released the ball with about 0.3 seconds left.
His teammates mobbed him at center court, and after a brief official review, the basket stood.
After an air ball earlier in the game, Toole said he told Williams to stay focused, and that he still had big shots left to take.
"That's one of the great things about shooters, they have short-term memory," Toole said.
The Colonials trailed for most of the game, but never by much. With 4:03 left in the game, Youngstown State looked like it was set to pull away, stretching the lead to 55-48. During that stretch, the Colonials went 6:55 without a field goal.
Robert Morris came back with a 3-pointer from Williams and two free throws from Anthony Myers to cut the deficit to two. With 40 seconds to play and trailing by three, Anthony Myers hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to tie the score.
Youngstown State had a chance to win the game, but Kendrick Perry threw the ball out of bounds with 8 seconds to play, setting the stage for Williams.
The Penguins relied heavily on their 3-point shooting, finishing 12 of 28 from beyond the arc. While some of their shots were open, they also made several over Colonials defenders. DuShawn Brooks, Blake Allen and Perry each finished with four 3-pointers, and Perry led all scorers with 18 points.
"We knew they take a lot of threes, and even if they make them we can't get discouraged," Jones said.
Jones led the Colonials with 15 points, and Williams finished with 14.
Robert Morris also benefited from a huge edge on the glass, outrebounding the Penguins, 43-28, and grabbing 16 offensive rebounds. The Colonials outscored Youngstown State on second chance points, 16-4.
"I think this is the best Youngstown State team that I've seen in the five years I've been at Robert Morris," Toole said. "That was a good team that we beat tonight."
The Penguins were looking to exact revenge for the meeting last year, when Robert Morris pounded Youngstown State, 90-60.
Robert Morris will take a week off for the holidays, then return to action Thursday in a road contest against Memphis.
First Published December 23, 2011 12:00 am