ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The eighth ranked Robert Morris Illinois Men's Basketball team took another step closer to its 14th CCAC Conference regular season championship and 14th NAIA National Tournament appearance with a convincing 99-74 victory over Saint Ambrose University (Iowa) on Saturday, February 11th at the RMU Athletic & Convocation Center. The Eagles are now 17-1 in the CCAC, leading Trinity International University by a half-game, and are 22-5 overall this year.
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The game was a close one for the first five minutes with the Eagles holding an 11-10 lead with 14:30 to go in the opening half. RMU then scored the next nine points on back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by Marlon Sykes (SR/Chicago, Ill.), Darius Randolph (SR/Joliet, Ill.), and Omarr Gilbert (SO/Chicago, Ill.) to open a 20-10 advantage with 12:52 to go. However, Saint Ambrose came right back with the next nine points to cut the RMU margin to 20-19, but the Eagles built a 43-28 lead with 2:41 remaining. The Fighting Bees made late run to cut the margin to 43-35 at the half.
The Eagles held a double-digit early in the second half and opened up a 72-55 lead with 10:19 to go to take control of the contest. RMU kept up the momentum and led by more than 20 minutes late, winning 99-74.
Omarr Gilbert led the Eagles with a career-high 24 points, and Darius Randolph added 19 points and nine rebounds. Darius Paul (SR/Gurnee, Ill.) added 18 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, while Antonio Levy (SR/Harvey, Ill.) chipped in with 10 points in the win.
RMU honored long-time head coach Al Bruehl in a pregame ceremony to celebrate his retirement from coaching at the end of this season. The 20-year Eagles' head coach was presented with a token of appreciation from RMU President Mablene Krueger and Director of Athletics Megan Smith. Coach Bruehl will remain with RMU as Director of Basketball Operations and he is pictured below with his wife Shawn and son Bo.
The Eagles travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday, February 15th to take on Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in CCAC Conference action. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm and fans can listen to the game live on the Eagle Sports Network.