The Colonials established a 30-point deficit by halftime, played without four key players, including leading scorer Rodney Pryor, and allowed Mount St. Mary’s best shooters to shoot about .500 from the field and the 3-point line.
And Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said the “absolutely atrocious” performance is on him.
“I’m embarrassed because I’m supposed to be responsible for it all, and I am unable to get these guys to come together, I guess, and be a team,” Tool said. “It drives me insane.”
Robert Morris dropped 76-52 to Mount St. Mary’s on Thursday at the Sewall Center after entering halftime down 43-13. The Colonials are now 1-4 in the Northeast Conference (3-15 overall) while the Mountaineers are 4-1 (7-11 overall).
Toole said he has seen his team make the same mistakes again and again despite trying to correct them in practice. Against Mount St. Mary’s, the team a preseason poll picked to finish No. 1 in the conference to No. 2 Robert Morris, it was a “horrific” offensive display in the first half — shooting just 21.7 percent from the field and 0 percent from the 3-point line — combined with poor defense of the Mountaineers’ junior guard BK Ashe and junior forward Will Miller.
Ashe ended with a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 2-for-5 from the 3-point line. Miller shot 4-for-8 from the field and beyond the arc, making all his baskets in the monster first half.
“There’s just no buy-in in me, really, is what the issue is,” Toole said. “It’s a really poor job of coaching by me to get these guys to understand what it takes to win.”
Part of the problem was Robert Morris had to play without Pryor and sophomore forward Andre Frederick, who collided in practice this past week and have concussions — which also makes them questionable for Saturday’s game against Fairleigh Dickinson. Freshman guard Jordan Lester was also out with illness, and senior forward Aaron Tate is still on the bench recovering from preseason surgery.
Junior point guard Kavon Stewart said “it really hurt a lot” to be without all those players at once.
“We need everybody. We need everybody we can get,” Stewart said. “Everybody on the team is really important this season. It’s not like last year.”
Freshman guard Matty McConnell scored a team-high 16 points, 12 in the second half. He said it was frustrating to keep losing, and that won’t change until he and his teammates find a way to play like they do in the second half from the first whistle.
“If we keep playing anything can happen,” McConnell said. “Just to keep moving forward, stay positive.”
But Toole said more drastic methods might be in order.
“I have to figure out a different way,” he said. “Or get the Long Island Medium to come and try to do something to get our guys to figure this out. Because it is ugly.”