LIU Gameday Preview – Game 26 – Robert Morris

The Blackbirds head out to Western PA and their first stop is RMU’s Sewall Center as LIU face long-time rival Robert Morris in a huge game for both teams. (Photo: bbpassport.com)

Game Info

Opponent: Robert Morris

Conference: NEC
Current Record: 8-19, 6-8 NEC
Tip: 7:00 PM
Where: Sewall Center – Moon Township, PA

Broadcast: NEC Front Row
Live Stats: rmuathletics.com

About the Opponent

Previous Game: Win at Fairleigh Dickinson 72-70
Last Season’s Record (Overall/Conference): 20-15
KenPom Rank: 311
Meeting History: 72nd all-time meeting. Robert Morris leads series 41-30. Robert Morris defeated LIU Brooklyn 70-60 in first meeting of the season back on January 7th at the Steinberg Center.

High Scorer: Rodney Pryor, Guard, Sr., 18.1 ppg

High Rebounder: Rodney Pryor, Guard, Sr., 7.9 rpg

High Assist man: Kavon Stewart, Guard, Sr., 4.7 apg

Starting Probables

LIU Brooklyn:

G – Aakim Saintil
G – Martin Hermannsson
G – Joel Hernandez
F – Nura Zanna
F – Jerome Frink

Robert Morris:

G – Kavon Stewart
G – Rodney Pryor
G – Matty McConnell
G – Steven Whitley
F – Billy Giles

Robert Morris Scouting Report

One thing is for certain about this Robert Morris 2015-16 team, they will very likely NOT finish in the top four of the NEC standings for the first time since the 2006-07 season. They are 6-8 coming into this game against LIU Brooklyn and are three games behind the four first-place team with four games left to play. Unless they finish run the table in their four games, this season will be the first season since that 2006-07 team to not get double-digit wins in conference play.

RMU though did beat LIU in their first meeting back on January 7th, 70-60, at the Steinberg Wellness Center but they will enter into tonight’s game without a couple of players who had were key factors in their win. RMU will be without freshman guard Isaiah Still who will be serving his third of a three-game suspension for violation of athletic department policy as well as sophomore forward Elijah Minnie who either left the team or was dismissed back on February 5th, whoever you decide to believe, either way he is longer on the team.

As far as players who should be on the court for the Colonials, Rodney Pryor, in what could probably be his final game against the Blackbirds, is coming off a 27-point game in the upset road win against FDU on Saturday. Pryor’s previous 20-plus scoring game before Saturday came against LIU back in January when he scored 21 points. Pryor’s shooting numbers are down this season compared to last year. He is shooting 43.6 percent from the field but just 29.7 percent from three although his 18.1 points per game is second in the NEC. He is 25th in the nation in percentage of shots taken at 32 percent so no doubt he is the engine that makes that RMU offense go.

Junior point guard Kavon Stewart has increased his scoring up to 9.2 points per game this season. He is third in the NEC is assists with 4.7 assists per game and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.48. He recently snapped a four-game streak of single-digit scoring games with 11 points his last game vs FDU. Stewart is 89th in the nation in steal percentage, getting a steal in 3.3 percent of opponents possessions.

The Blackbirds will also need to look out for junior forward Billy Giles who has come on over his last four games. He is averaging 16.2 points per game and shooting 67.3 percent in his four games.

Even with their struggles this season, they still can turn the ball over on teams, forcing a turnover in 21.5 percent of opponents possessions and they get a steal in 11.3 percent of other team’s possessions which is ranked 13th in the nation.

If there is an area where they have really struggled, it has been on the offensive end. They are 338th in the nation in offensive efficiency at 91.8 points per 100 possessions. They turn the ball over on 21 percent of their possessions and they are shooting 28.3 percent from three this season, that is 345th in the country. Add the fact that 38 percent of their shots are from three explains why they have struggled to score at times at the offensive end.

 

 

What to know about LIU from their last game

– LIU Brooklyn defeated St. Francis Brooklyn on Monday afternoon, 82-67, and won back-to-back games for the first time in a month to get them back to .500 in NEC play at 7-7.

– With the win, LIU has won three of the last four games.

– Martin Hermannsson was named this week’s NEC co-Player of the Week for his 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 3.0 steals averages in his two games last week. Against St. Francis Brooklyn, he went for 19/7/5/5 without a turnover. He become the only player in the country to accumulate these numbers in a game twice and also the only player in the nation to do without a turnover and he did it twice.

– Hermannsson with his 19 points, now has exactly 700 career points at LIU Brooklyn in 55 games played.

– Jerome Frink extended his double-figure scoring streak to 20 straight games with 15 points.

– Joel Hernandez is coming his eighth double-digit scoring game in his last nine games with 15 points against SFBK. He is averaging 13 points per game and shooting 52 percent over his last 10 games.

– LIU could clinch a NEC tournament berth with a win against Robert Morris.

KenPom Prediction: Robert Morris, 72-71

Next Game: LIU Brooklyn @ Saint Francis U. – Saturday, February 20th – LIU Brooklyn will play their final regular season road game of the season as they head to Loretto, PA to take on Saint Francis U.  Tip is scheduled for 1pm and the game can be seen on NEC Front Row.

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