Robert Morris wins NEC title in final seconds
Coraopolis, PA (Sports Network) - Dallas Green's jump shot off a broken play with 2.5 seconds left propelled Robert Morris past Mount St. Mary's, 48-46, for the Northeast Conference Tournament title, earning the Colonials their first trip to the "Big Dance" since 1992.
With the game tied at 46, RMU's Ifeanyi Ehirim lost the handle holding for a final shot. The ball rolled toward Green, who grabbed it and immediately rose up from just inside the left elbow and buried the shot.
Jeremy Chappell, who led Robert Morris (24-10) with 15 points, six boards and three steals, intercepted Mount St. Mary's (19-13) inbounds pass and was fouled, leaving 1.9 ticks left.
He missed the front end of the 1-and-1 but scrambled to get his own rebound, ending the game and sending the home-crowd, Colonial faithful pouring onto the court at the Sewall Center.
Rob Robinson checked in with 10 points and 10 rebounds for top-seeded Robert Morris, which has won nine of its last 11 games overall.
Robert Morris has won the last seven matchups against the Mountaineers, including both meetings in the regular season.
Kelly Beidler had 12 points and nine boards while Shawn Atupem netted 11 for second-seeded Mount St. Mary's, which was trying to capture its second straight conference championship.
The two schools were knotted at 19 after 20 minutes of play and stayed within two points of each other over the first half of the ensuing frame before the Mountaineers rattled off seven straight points.
Consecutive jumpers from Beidler and Atupem sparked the run and Markus Mitchell ended it with a deuce for a 40-35 lead with a shade under seven minutes left.
After trading two free throws apiece, a Jimmy Langhurst three-pointer brought RMU back to within two and started a 9-2 spurt that turned the tables for a two-point lead, 46-44, as Chappell dropped a triple to close it out with 1:45 to go.
Atupem sank two at the line with 1:17 on the clock to tie that game at 46 and a miss on both ends of the floor set the stage for Green's theatrics.
The Colonials' history in this event is deep, as the team grabbed their sixth NEC title...Last year the Mountaineers grabbed their third NEC title with a 68-55 victory over Sacred Heart...Mount St. Mary's is 15-11 in this event all- time and had won six of its last seven NEC Tournament contests...Mitchell finished with eight points and five rebounds for the Mountaineers...Green had three points, five rebounds and two blocks for Robert Morris.
03/11 23:49:47 ET