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January 5, 2012

Robert Morris downs Bryant, 84-53

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Junior Raphael Jordan (Bel Air, Md.) scored a career-high and game-best 21 points and teammate Jordan Harris (Lincoln University, Pa.) added a personal-best seven off the bench for the Bryant University men's basketball team, but it was not enough as visiting Robert Morris got 15 points from junior guard Velton Jones to lead the Colonials to an 84-53 win in Northeast Conference action Thursday night.

Robert Morris (12-4, 3-0 NEC) used a big run midway through the second half to pull away from the Bulldogs (1-13, 0-3), who were playing at home for just the third time this season.

Against the top-ranked defense in the conference, the Bulldogs struggled out of the gate. After Jordan converted a rare four-point play, drawing a foul while drilling a long three-pointer, the Colonials went on a 13-0 over the next five minutes to take a commanding 23-9 lead.

Turnovers and cold shooting hurt the Bulldogs during the stretch, but Bryant would pull its offense together, particularly from the outside, with under seven minutes to play in the first half. With the score 29-14, a baseline trey from Jordan with 4:25 on the clock kickstarted a 12-3 spurt by the hosts, as junior Frankie Dobbs (Berea, Ohio) and sophomore Claybrin McMath (Adelaide, Australia) each drilled a 3-pointer to bring the Bulldogs quickly back within single digits, 29-23, with 2:55 left in the half.

The Bulldogs didn't stop there, as Jordan canned another from long range, and McMath scored on a nice power move in the paint to end the first-half scoring and send Bryant into the locker room trailing just 34-28 at the break.

Freshman Ben Altit (Herzeliya, Israel) joined the fun with a 19-footer to open the second frame and cut the Bulldogs' deficit to 34-30, but Robert Morris responded with 11-straight points, including eight in a row from Velton Jones. Jones knocked down back-to-back threes from the same spot on the right side and quickly upped the visitors' lead to 45-30 with 17 left to play.

The Colonials would continue the torrid pace, outscoring the Bulldogs, 32-8, over the next 11 minutes before Harris got Bryant back on the board with 4:40 left in the game, following up from a miss along the baseline for a 77-43 score in Robert Morris's favor.

Jordan finished the night shooting 6-for-8 from the field, all six baskets coming from behind the arc to finish with the new career mark, surpassing his previous high of 20 set last year at St. Francis (NY). The Bulldogs shot just 36 percent the floor in the game and were outrebounded by the Colonials, 41-26.

The Bulldogs will host Saint Francis (PA) this Saturday at 4 p.m.

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