Senior guard Derek Coleman scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half to help Robert Morris rally to a 65-60 win over Mount St. Mary's in Northeast Conference action at Knott Arena on Saturday night. The Mount led 41-27 with 15:40 remaining before the Colonials (15-7, 7-6 NEC) rallied to the win. Senior Mychal Kearse paced the Mount (9-16, 8-6 NEC) with 12 points in the loss.
With 15:40 remaining, Coleman was called for a technical foul and Kearse drilled both free throws to give the Mount its biggest lead of the game, 41-27. Coleman responded to the technical by scoring the next eight points to start a 14-2 run that cut the Mount's lead to 43-41 with 11:23 remaining.
The Mount withstood that rally and took a 56-52 advantage with 4:00 on the clock after a pair of Chris Vann free throws. The Colonials then scored the next eight points, capped by a Coleman three-pointer, for a 60-56 advantage with 2:33 remaining.
Trailing 62-60 with 1:14 on the clock, the Mount forced a turnover to have a chance to tie, but freshman Kelly Beidler's jumper with 17 seconds left was off the mark. Coleman was then fouled with 11 seconds left and calmly sank both free throws for a four-point lead. A.J. Jackson hit 1-of-2 at the line with three seconds left to round out the scoring.
Robert Morris jumped to a 17-9 lead, but the Mount responded with an 11-0 run keyed two Beidler three-pointers to take a 20-17 advantage with 9:00 left in the opening half. The Mount pushed the margin to 32-25 at the half.
The Mount shot just 25.9 percent from the field in the second half and 35.8 percent for the game while Robert Morris converted 57.1 percent in the second half to finish at 44.7 percent for the contest.
Coleman paced RMU with 23 points while Jackson and Tony Lee chipped in 14 each in the victory. Kearse led the Mount with 12 while Gus Durr and Jeremy Goode added 11 points each in the loss. Beidler was also in double figures with 10 points for the Mount. Durr finished the game with nine boards in the loss.
Counting this game, the past five meetings between the two teams have been decided by a total of 12 points. Robert Morris swept the season series, taking an 81-78 overtime decision on Jan. 20 in addition to tonight's 65-60 win.
The Mount returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 15, with a 7:00 p.m. game at Sacred Heart.
Game Notes...The Mount falls to fifth place in the Northeast Conference with the loss, 1/2 game ahead of the Colonials...The top four teams in the NEC earn a first-round home game in the conference tournament...Kearse now has 982 career points, just 18 shy of the 1,000-point plateau for his career.