Busting Brackets

5 takeaways from Robert Morris 2OT victory over Detroit Mercy Titans

In one of the best games of the Horizon League season, Robert Morris was able to outlast winless Detroit Mercy in 50 minutes, thanks to a pair of career-high efforts.

Cornell v Robert Morris
Cornell v Robert Morris / Justin Berl/GettyImages

In one of the best games of the Horizon League season, Robert Morris was able to outlast winless Detroit Mercy in 50 minutes, thanks to a pair of career-high efforts.

Coming off a thrilling win over Purdue-Fort Wayne, Robert Morris Basketball looked for its first back-to-back wins against D-I opponents. They took on Detroit Mercy, who was 0-18 on the season, one of two teams without a win this season. However, with leading scorer Jayden Stone back from injury, they put up more than just a fight, leading by seven points with a couple of minutes to go.

But thanks to an individual scoring run from TJ Wainwright, the Colonials were able to tie it up and force overtime. 10 minutes later, they were able to win, 102-99 in double-overtime to move to 7-12 (3-5 Horizon) on the season. Here are five takeaways from the game.

1. TJ Wainwright saves the day

With Jackson Last out with an arm injury and the Titans making sure Josh Corbin doesn't get any room, the guard production was mostly lacking throughout the night. But the one guard who did step up was Wainwright, who scored eight straight points at the end of regulation to keep them in the game and continued to score in the final 10 minutes, finishing with a career-high 30 points on 9/14 shooting and making all eight of his FTs.

On the season, the sophomore guard is averaging 10.9 ppg on 42% shooting. His offensive impact can be inconsistent but when the other guards are struggling, he's needed more than ever. When the Colonials needed him most, Wainwright came through in the biggest of ways.

2. Markesse Hastings steady play kept RMU in it

Wainwright may have gotten the most highlights on the night, but Hastings was the Team MVP from start to finish. When RMU was struggling from the field, Hastings made either easy shots inside of the free throw line, going 17/17 for a guy who entered the game with 65% shooting.

Hastings, finished with a career-high 31 points and 15 rebounds and leads the team with 15.4 ppg and 8.2 rpg overall. When he has a nice game, the Colonials tend to be within range of winning. Without his steady play all night, they easily would've lost.

3. Chris Ford's underrated impact

One player who had a good game in his own right was Ford, who finished with six points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes. He did the best job on Jayden Stone of Detroit Mercy when he was on the court and was second on the team in rebounds on the night.

Ford, a junior guard from Davidson, has been a boost on the boards for a team that's fairly small and doesn't have much depth. RMU isn't a good defensive team so they have to find minutes for Ford whenever they can. What he lacks in offense, he makes up for everywhere else.

4. Lack of a true PG makes Colonials turnover-prone

It wasn't all great for RMU. who still made plenty of mistakes. One is with the turnovers, having 20 total compared to just 15 assists. It's a similar rate in the win over Purdue-Fort Wayne, having 24 giveaways to 21 assists. On the season, the Colonials rank in the bottom-25 nationally with 15 giveaways a game, good for last in the Horizon League.

RMU has just one player on the team with more assists than turnovers and that's Josh Corbin, who leads them with 3.1 apg. But his game is being a catch-and-shoot guy, who makes the pass when teams crowd him at the three-point line. The only chance the team has going forward is to limit turnovers when creating for themselves.

5. Detroit Mercy will win a game this season

Detroit Mercy is still winless but this game showed that a win is coming soon. Stone has a career-high 36 points in his second game back from injury, while Marcus Tankersley had his career-best of 29 points in the loss. This is a Titans team has much more offense than the 62 ppg average, the worst in the league.

The Horizon League is starting to lower the divide between the top and the bottom. IUPUI defeated Purdue-Fort Wayne Wednesday night and the Colonials are playing its best ball of late. The Titans have RMU Basketball back at home over a week from now, looking to get its own revenge from this close call.

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The Titans will get a win this season, just a matter of "if", not "when".