Montgomery, W.V. – The Robert Morris Men's Basketball team was eliminated from the A.I.I. Tournament with a 74-70 loss to second seeded and hosts West Virginia Tech in the semi-final round on Saturday, March 2nd. The loss dropped the Eagles record to 17-14 and it appears RMU's string of nine straight NAIA National Tournament appearances will come to an end. The Eagles must wait for a slim chance at a selection for an at-large bid when the teams are announced on Wednesday, March 6th.
The early going of the game was a back-and-forth affair with five lead changes before RMU opened up a 23-15 lead with 7:09 left in the first half. However, West Virginia Tech came back and took a 32-31 lead with 1:35 to go but the Eagles rallied for a 35-32 lead heading into the locker room.
RMU streaked out to a 10-point lead to open the second half and held the lead until the Golden Bears tied the game at 55-55 with 6:41 remaining. West Virginia Tech upped their lead to six points with 49 seconds to play and with 37 seconds to go. Dwayne Cureton hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 71-68 with 31 seconds left and RMU fouled the Golden Bears to send David Rawlinson to the line. Rawlinson hit one free throw to up the lead to 72-68 and Aubrey McAlpine scored on a layup to keep the Eagles alive down 72-70 with 14 ticks left on the clock. The Eagles were forced to Rawlinson again and once again Rawlinson made one of two shots and RMU trailed by three with 10 seconds to go. The Eagles set up for the game tying shot but Aubrey McAlpine's three-pointer was off the mark and West Virginia Tech grabbed the rebound and was fouled to seal the game.
Sean Montgomery had a strong game, registering a double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds and was named to the A.I.I. All-Tournament team. Senior Aubrey McAlpine chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds in the loss.