Final Score: Robert Morris 74, Drexel 60
Drexel Player of the Game: Tyshawn Myles
Key to the Game: Turnovers
Next Game Saturday December 16 at Temple
The Dragons took a three game winning streak to the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. From the moment they took the floor it was clear that the confidence and swagger that a winning streak entails either had went to far or had simply missed the bus entirely. Not even the unexpected return of Tramaine Isabell could kickstart a team that was stuck in first gear all afternoon.
Walk your way down the roster and it would seem to be a surprise that the final score was only a 14 point margin: Kurk Lee had more turnovers than assist, one of four Dragons to give up the ball at least three times. His counterpart Matty McConnell for RMU had 11 assists and shot 4/8 from the field against a sloppy Drexel defense. Austin Williams had his second lowest point total of the season alongside three turnovers and never got to the free throw line. Sammy Mojica was just 3/10 from the field and shot under 50% from the charity stripe. Alihan Demir tied for the team lead in turnovers and appeared sluggish. Jarvis Doles was a non-factor with 3 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists and a turnover in 19 minutes, alongside an 0/2 from the line. Tadas Kararinas only showed 2 rebounds and 0-fer everything else in 8 minutes. Tramaine Isabell shot a respectable 5/11 from the field, but wasn’t moving well at times, and had some bizarre shot selections.
While Isabell was passable, Tyshawn Myles looked OK when Austin Williams got an early first half hook. He was moving well and solid in defense while putting up a line of 4 points, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks in 8 minutes. On this date, that stat line will earn him Player of the Game honors from the blog. As coach Spiker said in the post game “You have up days and you have down days… This [game]was a bad down”.
While the Dragons slept, Robert Morris deserves some credit. RMU came out firing and had a 15 point halftime lead behind 58% shooting from behind the arc. The Colonials are now winners of 6 of their last 7 and are showing themselves to be a capable young team and a threat in the NEC. As Alan noted on the pregame, Coach Toole is one of the potential rising stars in the game and he has reloaded rather than rebuilt. Sophomore Dachon Burke has looked good all year long and was exceptional yesterday with 25 points on the offensive end, 5 steals on the defensive end and just 1 turnover. 6’6″ freshman Koby Thomas added another 21 with just a single turnover to his name. Credit is due where deserved, and the Colonials were simply the much, much better team on this Sunday afternoon.
Drexel will try to regroup on the road on Saturday versus the NCAA tournament likely Temple Owls. An interesting note as the Dragons enter into Finals week: The Dragons are now 3-2 against Kenpom top 200 teams and just 1-3 against teams in the bottom section of the table. The lone win against the bottom feeders was a come from behind “miracle” against Lafayette at home. “We’ve got to be a mature team” notes Coach Spiker.