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Mount St. Mary's (17-13) at Robert Morris (23-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles L. Sewall Center (3,056) -- Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPN3.com, MSG2. Home Record: The Mount 10-2, RMU 12-2. Away Record: The Mount 7-11, RMU 10-6. Neutral Record: The Mount 0-0, RMU 1-1. Conference Record: The Mount 11-7, RMU 14-4. Series Record: Robert Morris leads, 28-25.
GAME NOTES: The top-seeded Robert Morris Colonials play host to the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers in an NEC Tournament semifinal-round matchup at the Charles L. Sewall Center in Moon Twp, Pennsylvania.
Robert Morris, which has made four consecutive conference finals appearances, which includes wins in 2009 and 2010, upended the St. Francis (NY) Terriers in the quarterfinals thanks to 20 points off the bench by Karvel Anderson. Russell Johnson had 19 points in the contest, while Velton Jones added eight assists. The Colonials held St. Francis without a fast-break point in the second half, and outrebounded the Terriers by a 38-24 margin.
The Colonials have won six straight games and nine of their last 10 overall heading into this contest. Anderson led a balanced RMU attack this season with 12.9 ppg on 48.4 percent shooting from the floor and 44.8 percent from behind the arc. Lucky Jones and Velton Jones averaged 11.9 and 11 ppg, respectively, while Johnson puts in 10.8 ppg. Robert Morris led the NEC with 8.7 3-pointers per game and its 279 made triples on the year ranks second in school history.
RMU defeated Mount St. Mary's in the lone meeting earlier this season, 76-68, behind 22 points from Anderson on 7-of-11 from the field.
The fifth-seeded Mount St. Mary's reached the semifinals after upsetting the fourth-seeded Bryant Bulldogs in the quarterfinals, overcoming an eight-point second half deficit in the process. The Mountaineers also made 26-of-27 from the foul line. Rashad Whack tallied 19 points and eight boards, while freshman Shivaughn Wiggins netted 16 points.
Wiggins, the recent winner of the NEC Rookie of the Year award, was inserted into the starting lineup midway through the season and has led Mount St. Mary's to an 11-4 mark since then. He is averaging a team-high 14.7 ppg over that stretch, while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 58.1 percent from 3-point range.
Winners of eight straight games, Mount St. Mary's will lean heavily on Whack, who led the team with 13.6 ppg and finished second in the NEC with 2.2 steals per tilt. Sam Prescott will also play a crucial role if the Mountaineers are going to pull off the upset here. Capable of putting up huge scoring numbers, his 44-point performance in an 84-70 win over Bryant last month was the NEC single-game high this season.
The winner of this clash will take on whichever team is victorious in the other semifinal matchup between Long Island and Wagner. Expect that to be Robert Morris.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Robert Morris 65, Mount St. Mary's 58
03/09 10:38:22 ET
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