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Colonials fall to Penn, 67-50, in season opener

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Behind 15 points and 10 rebounds from senior forward Matt Howard, Penn cruised past Robert Morris in the season opener for both teams on Friday.

The Quakers dominated with 13 points in the first eight minutes of the game while RMU only had two. RMU center Braden Burke tallied the first basket for the Colonials at 18:27 with a layup, but the team missed its next 11 shots.

"Obviously we really struggled to score," head coach Andrew Toole said in a post-game interview. "I thought we came out with good energy and tried to compete, but when shots didn't go in the basket, our energy level dropped. There were times out there where we look disorganized.”

Colonials forward Aaron Tate tipped in a basket and guard Matty McConnell snagged a three-pointer with 31 seconds left in the initial half to pull Robert Morris closer, but the Quakers still maintained a sturdy 29-20 first-half lead.

Burke opened the second half with another layup for RMU. However, Penn quickly pulled away and gained a 25-point cushion with 6:04 to play.

According to RMU guard Isaiah Still, the Colonials needed to communicate and organize better.

“There was a lot of new guys playing their first Division I basketball game,” he said. “One guy might not be on the same page as another. We got down on ourselves and didn't pick ourselves back up."

Still recorded 15 points and six rebounds. Burke, in his first collegiate game, scored eight points and forward Roberto Mantovani had six points and six rebounds.

The Colonials shot just 29 percent on the night. RMU is scheduled to play next at DePaul, Sunday, Nov. 13, with a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.

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