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Robert Morris edges Bryant

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Rodney Pryor's late layup moves Colonials into three-way tie for second place in NEC

Smithfield, RI – Robert Morris used a 13-3 run in the final 4:25 of action to earn a 76-70 victory over Bryant Saturday at the Chace Athletic Center.

The Colonials evened their overall record on the 2014-15 campaign at 14-14 and moved into a three-way tie for second place in the Northeast Conference with a mark of 10-6. The Bulldogs slipped to 13-14 and are also 10-6 in the NEC along with Mount St. Mary's.

Shane McLaughlin gave Bryant a 67-63 lead with a layup off an offensive rebound with 4:25 to play, but RMU was able to tie the game, 67-67, thanks to four free throws from freshman guard Marcquise Reed.

Joe O'Shea snapped the tie for the Bulldogs with a 3-pointer, one of 14 triples that went down on the game for Bryant. Junior guard Rodney Pryor answered the three-pointer by O'Shea with one of his own to tie the contest for the eighth time, 70-70, with 2:36 remaining.

Each team had a few empty possessions until sophomore guard Kavon Stewart fed a streaking Pryor underneath the basket for a layup with 35.1 seconds to play that gave the Colonials a 72-70 edge. Dyami Starks pulled up from beyond the arc on Bryant's next possession, but his shot was off the mark, and senior forward Lucky Jones came down with the carom with 19 seconds left.

Jones calmly sank both of his attempts at the chalk to make it a two-possession game, 74-70, in favor of Robert Morris, and Reed concluded the scoring with a pair of free throws with eight seconds to play.

The Bulldogs shot an even 50 percent (26-for-52) from the field on the game, including 48.3 percent (14-for-29) from deep. Bryant buried seven three-pointers in each half and grabbed a 36-31 halftime edge on the strength of 11 points from Bosko Kostur, who shot 4-for-6 from the field, including 3-of-4 from international waters.

RMU received a spark at the beginning of the second half from freshman forward Elijah Minnie, who scored the first seven points of the stanza for the Colonials. Pryor would give Robert Morris its first lead after the intermission, 40-39, with a layup, with began the back-and-forth affair the rest of the game.

"Everybody that stepped on the floor tonight made positive contributions to help us get the win," head coach Andrew Toole said. "I didn't know how we were going to bounce back from Thursday. We got on the floor for loose balls, grabbed some big rebounds and got some huge stops. The effort and energy was there."

The Bulldogs owned their largest lead with 7:57 to play in the first half when Starks finished 1-for-2 at the free-throw line to give Bryant a 23-14 cushion.

For the second consecutive game Pryor paced RMU, scoring a game-high 24 points as four Colonials reached double figures in scoring. Pryor also added five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jones scored 14 points off the bench for the Colonials, including a huge four-point play with just over five minutes to play, while Reed contributed 13 points and Minnie 12.

The Bulldogs were led by Starks, who finished with 18 points. Kostur finished with 14 points, McLaughlin tallied 11 points and eight assists and Curtis Oakley contributed 11 points off the bench.

Robert Morris returns home to the Charles L. Sewall Center for its final two games of the 2014-15 regular season, beginning Thursday, Feb. 26, with a 7:00 p.m. tip against Wagner.

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