(Notre Dame, Indiana) The Eagles of Robert Morris University came into the Pfeil Center Wednesday night as one of the top teams in NAIA Division I.
After tonight, they could be the overall top team. The #3 Eagles came to life in the second half of the game after Holy Cross' inspired first half effort, which saw RMU hold just a 6-point, 34-28 advantage at the break.
Holy Cross out shot the Eagles in the first half, but saw senior power forward Taylor Williams (South Bend, Indiana) tally 3 quick fouls in the opening period. The Saints defense held the hot-shooting Eagles to just 3-13 from behind the arc, and had leads of five and six points in the early stages of the game, but fell victim to a 22-16 RMU run to finish out the half. The Eagles went into the break enjoying a 34-28 lead.
The lead for the Eagles opened up considerably in the second half, as RMU shot 54% from behind the arc (7-of-13), nearly fifty percent from the field, and 82% from the line. The lack of rebounding and shooting ultimately doomed the Saints, as RMU won the battle on the glass, 51-37, and the Saints shot a game average of 33.3%
RMU played a solid team game, as ten of the eleven players scored in the game, and as a team recorded 14 assists. RMU's Diante Watkins led all scorers with 20 points, 6 helpers, and 3 steals. Holy Cross was again lead by shooting guard Yama Kader (Mission Viejo, California) who had 19 points and 5 rebounds in 34 minutes.
Senior Adam Onderdonk scored 10 on 5-of-8 shooting and pulled down 3 boards in 24 minutes. The Saints were without the usual presence of All-CCAC forward Taylor Williams, who saw limited action because of early foul trouble. Williams scored 4 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 23 minutes before fouling out midway through the second period.
The Eagles presented a solid case for #1 in the NAIA, as they improved to 4-0 on the year and have many key players back from a 32-2 season last season. Meanwhile, Holy Cross drops to 1-3 on the year, and travel to #24 St. Xavier University November 22nd at 7:00 PM.