Moon Township —
Karvel Anderson and Lucky Jones came up big again for top-seeded Robert Morris, with 21 and 18 points, respectively, but clutch free throws by David Appolon preserved a 60-57 victory over sixth-seeded St. Francis in a Northeast Conference semifinal on Saturday.
The Colonials (21-12) advance to Tuesday’s championship for the fifth time in six years, facing fourth-seeded Mount St. Mary’s (15-16).
St. Francis (10-21) chewed up a 10-point deficit late and twice came within a point – 55-54 on a Ronnie Drinnon dunk and 57-56 on a pair of Ben Millaud-Meunier free throws with 1:35 left. Earl Brown scored 18 for the Red Flash and Millaud-Meunier 15.
Appolon, who had not been to the free-throw line all game, was fouled twice in the last minute and hit 3 of 4.
Anthony Myers-Pate deflected a pass meant for St. Francis’ Malik Harmon, throwing off his half-court 3 at the buzzer.
The Red Flash, which concluded their 2013-14 season with an overall record of 10-21, grabbed their biggest lead of the contest, 16-6, at the 7:12 mark of the first half when Drinnon converted a layup. St. Francis fell behind early, 6-2, but used a 14-0 run to grab a double-digit advantage, thanks to four 3-pointers, including a pair from Dominique Major.
Earl Brown gave the Red Flash a 20-11 lead 3:46 before halftime.
with a jumper in the paint, but Robert Morris scored the final four points of the stanza to close to within 20-15 at the break.