MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The eighth ranked Robert Morris Illinois Men's Basketball team claimed a share of its 14th CCAC Conference regular season championship with an 88-78 victory over Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) on Wednesday, February 15th in Milwaukee.
The Eagles, who are 23-5 overall, are now 18-1 in the CCAC and can win the regular season title outright and earn an automatic berth to the NAIA National Tournament with a win over 13th ranked Trinity International University on Saturday, February 18th in the NAIA Network Game of the Week at the RMU Athletic & Convocation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 2pm and fans can follow the "Senior Day" contest via live video, audio, and stats on the Eagle Sports Network.
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The Eagles scored the first six points of the game versus the Wolves and built a 23-8 lead with 13:59 to go in the first half behind nine points from Darius Paul (SR/Gurnee, Ill.). RMU continued to hold a double-digit lead for most of the first half and were up 38-26 with 4:12 remaining. However, Cardinal Stritch started to chip away at the Eagles' lead and closed the margin to just two points at 39-37 at the half.
The Wolves tied the game to begin the second half, but the Eagles then built a seven-point lead on three occasions before Cardinal Stritch went on an 8-0 run to take its first and only lead of the game at 54-53 with 12:53 to play. RMU answered right back with an impressive 13-0 run to take a 66-54 advantage, fueled by eight points from Paul and three-pointer by Dallis Flowers (FR/Oak Park, Ill.). The Eagles maintained a wide lead until the Wolves pulled to within 80-74 with 3:52 left to go, but RMU pushed its lead back to double digits at 87-76 with 1:55 remaining and closed out the final minute for the 88-78 victory.
Darius Paul scored a career-high 31 points in the win, shooting 9-for-12 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line. Darius Randolph (SR/Joliet, Ill.) also had a strong game with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Dallis Flowers chipped in with 14 points and Antonio Levy (SR/Harvey, Ill.) added 13 points to help claim a share of the conference title.
The Eagles are already guaranteed to host a CCAC Conference Tournament Quarter-Final game on Tuesday, February 21st at the RMU Athletic & Convocation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm versus an opponent to be determined.