In a game that was essentially a "must-win", RMU Basketball found a way to come back and beat Saint Francis last night.
The 2023-24 season started with some actual promise for RMU Basketball. They lost early games against both Xavier and Wisconsin but were highly competitive. But after beating Fairleigh Dickinson at home, the Colonials lost four straight, including two Horizon League guards.
At 3-8 and with just one D-I win, Robert Morris took on old Northeast Conference rival, Saint Francis. But things didn't go well for most of the time, as the road team was down 40-30 at halftime. The Red Flash made a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 60-42 with 12 minutes left.
It was expected that the Colonials would just call it a day and go home and get ready for Friday's game. Instead, they slowly crept into the lead, down by eight with a couple of minutes left. But a 30-second span that included a couple of steals and a couple of 3-pointers from Josh Corbin gave them a 70-69 lead out of literal nowhere.
Saint Francis still managed to take the lead with 10 seconds to go after RMU turned it over itself. However, Justice Williams, the prize transfer from LSU, finished the game off with a game-winning three-pointer, to win, 75-73.
Williams, who had been inconsistent with his scoring production, finished with a game-high 20 points. Markeese Hastings, who arguably has been the team's best player overall, had 19 pts and 8 rebs. Josh Corbin had 13 pts, including those huge 3s towards the end, while freshman Alvaro Folgueiras had 8 pts in 11 minutes off the bench.
This win moves RMU Basketball to 4-8 (0-2) on the season and while beating an NEC team should be expected, this is the kind of momentum-building win that this team really needed. The offense has potential but still lacks depth but when Williams and Hastings plays well, they'll be in contention of most league games.
The non-con schedule wraps up at home on Friday, taking on a Cornell team that's 8-2 and one of the top scoring teams in the country. For the final 12 minutes on Wednesday, the Colonials showed that they have the offense to keep up with them. We'll see if they're capable of doing it for all 40 minutes.