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Robert Morris drops road contest at Bucknell

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Nana Foulland and Zach Thomas each recorded double-doubles to lead Bucknell over Robert Morris 75-62 on Wednesday night in Lewisberg.

The Bison never trailed in the game and took control by shooting 50 percent (18-for-36) from the field in the second half. Foulland scored 14 of his game-high 23 points after halftime and also finished with 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Foulland scored 10 points in the final eight minutes to help hold off the Colonials (0-3). He provided a dunk in the paint with 7:54 remaining, and his jumper 26 seconds later gave Bucknell its largest advantage, 61-44.

RMU used an 11-2 run to close its deficit to 63-55 with 4:18 to play. Four different Colonials scored, including four points from senior forward Billy Giles and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Matty McConnell.

Kimbal Mackenzie missed a three-pointer on Bucknell's next possession, and Robert Morris had a chance to get closer after Stephen Brown picked up his fifth foul with 3:58 to play. Senior guard Kavon Stewart was sent to the free-throw line, but he missed the front end of his one-on-one opportunity.

Thomas helped the Bison capitalize on their next possession, drawing a foul and hitting a pair at the chalk to push Bucknell's advantage back to double digits, 65-55.

"We play well in spurts, but we can't seem to sustain it," head coach Andrew Toole. "We just need to continue to work to try and get that consistency. We play solid half-court defense in the first half, and then Bucknell comes out and gets three layups to start the second half. It's that consistency we're looking for."

In the first half, RMU fell behind early, 6-0, and again, 15-7, before using an 8-3 surge to close its deficit to 18-15. Robert Morris made it a one-possession game, 22-20, with 2:55 remaining before the break after a three-pointer from sophomore guard Isaiah Still, but Bucknell used a 9-3 run to hold a 31-23 edge at halftime.

"Bucknell does a great job make or miss of flying down the floor," head coach Andrew Toole said. "That was the biggest area where they created their separation. We hammered transition defense in our scouting report, and I think that's where we lost the game."

The Colonials were led by Giles, who scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds. He finished 8-for-10 shooting from the floor and was 2-for-2 at the free-throw line. McConnell contributed 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a 3-for-5 performance from beyond the arc.

"Billy and Matty both had good games tonight," Toole said. "We need those guys to play that well, regardless of whether it's off the bench or starting."

Thomas tallied 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Bucknell, while Nate Sestina came off the bench and tallied 10 points and four rebounds.

Robert Morris continues its six-game road swing with four games in the Barclays Classic. The Colonials travel to Richmond Sunday, Nov. 20, for a 1:30 p.m. tip.

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