St. Francis College rode a three-game winning streak into their contest against conference leaders Robert Morris, but an early morning announcement that four Terriers players were suspended “indefinitely” helped put and end to the team’s good fortune.
The Colonials jumped all over host St. Francis College and coasted to a 72–50 victory last Saturday in Northeast Conference men’s basketball. Robert Morris shot 51 percent from the field for the game.
It hurt that St. Francis was minus Brent Jones, a starting guard, and Wayne Martin, a top reserve off the bench, along with guards Anthony White and P.J. Santavenere after their suspensions for violation of school policy.
Terriers head coach Glenn Braica, who said he found out the morning of the game, would not give any details about nature or length of the suspensions.
“It’s a school matter, I can’t comment on that,” Braica said.
Robert Morris forward Lucky Jones hit his first four shots to score 11 quick points within the game’s first three minutes. The junior finished with a game-high 18 points, including four three-pointers to lead the Colonials 39–26 at halftime.
Meanwhile, the Terriers had problems solving a sticky zone defense. The Terriers shot just 34 percent from the floor and didn’t have the flow and continuity it had enjoyed in earlier wins.
Star Jalen Cannon scored 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds for St. Francis College (15–10, 6–4). Aleksander Isailovic played a good floor game and picked up 10 points. Braica gave the Colonials team credit for its strong game, but acknowledged that missed players can mess with a team’s on-court chemistry. The rotations were different and players were forced to do things they weren’t used to.
“What it does, it takes guys out of different roles, and that becomes difficult basketball-wise,” Braica said.
In addition, Robert Morris (13–11, 9–1) used an effective zone defense, which forced to players to take tough shots and mishandle the ball. The Terriers had 14 turnovers that Robert Morris turned into 25 points.
The Colonials squad stretched its lead to 48–29 with 13:31 to go in the second half and were never threatened after that. Robert Morris senior guard Karvel Anderson scored all of his 13 points in the second half, including some key treys. Sophomore center Stephan Hawkins added scored 11 points. Anderson was pleased with his team’s performance.
“I think it was a great overall team game,” Anderson said.