Bobby Mo-mentum: Robert Morris, coached by former Penn star Andy Toole, claims NEC crown topping Saint Francis (PA) 77-67
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — Robert Morris used a second half surge to defeat league-rival Saint Francis, 77-67, Tuesday night in the Northeast Conference tournament championship.
With the victory, the Colonials have qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015.
Dante Treacy, AJ Bramah, Josh Williams and Yannis Mendy all scored in double-figures as the top-seeded Colonials (20-14) extended a nine-point halftime lead to as much as 19 in the second half en route to a convincing win in front of an electric home crowd on Peoples Court at the UPMC Events Center.
Treacy finished with a career-high 18 points on 72% shooting (8 for 11), connecting on two of his four 3-point attempts and dishing five assists. The sophomore also added three rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes of play.
Williams ended with 17 points, while Bramah and Mendy each added 11. The Colonials shot 48% percent as a team, outrebounded Saint Francis 35-30 tallied 36 points in the paint. The Red Flash (22-10) shot a lowly 17% (3 of 17) from deep. The loss was just their second over the last 12 games - both coming against Robert Morris - within the last two weeks.
Robert Morris entered the NEC tournament as the No. 1 seed and is now NCAA tournament bound for the second time during Andy Toole's 10-year tenure as head coach. The Red Flash entered the post-season tourney as the second seed.
Saint Francis: With the loss, Saint Francis' decorated senior class has now fallen in three of the last four NEC tournament championship games. The Red Flash last won a conference title in 1991.
Robert Morris: The Colonials won the program's ninth NEC tournament title – a conference record – in the inaugural season of the UPMC Events Center. Toole improved to 15-3 all-time in NEC Tournament games at Robert Morris when holding opponents under 70 points. Saint Francis averaged 78 points per-game this season.
Saint Francis: Will lose two of the best players in program history in seniors Isaiah Blackmon and Keith Braxton. The Red Flash return two starters (Mark Flagg and Myles Thompson) next season.
Robert Morris: Finds out its NCAA tournament seeding on selection Sunday, March 15.