November 04, 2012
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CHICAGO - The fourth-ranked Robert Morris (Ill.) men's basketball team defeated 21st-ranked Evangel (Mo.) by a score of 99-95 in overtime to begin the 2012-2013 season on Thursday. The win also marked a career milestone for Eagles Head Coach Al Bruehl, as he garnered his 500th victory in his coaching career.
The game was a back and forth affair with Evangel building a four-point lead in the first half but the Eagles regained the lead before the break. Brian Bradley hit a jumper seconds before the buzzer to give RMU a 40-34 half-time lead.
The second half saw Evangel erase the Eagles six-point lead and take five-point lead with 10:04 to play and then dimmed the RMU fans hopes as they led by six with four minutes to go. However, the Eagles never gave up and cut the Evangel lead to two on a Larry Dumas jumper with 2:30 remaining. RMU then tied the game at 81-81 on two free throws from Dumas with 1:53 to go.
Evangel once again gained the lead and was up 84-82 with 36 ticks on the clock left when Sean Montgomery was fouled as he was driving to the basket for RMU. Montgomery hit both crucial free throws to tie the game at 84-84 with 27 seconds left. Evangel held the ball for the last possession shot and made due with just 1.4 seconds left to play on a bucket by Korry Tillery to give them an 86-84 lead. With the Eagles setting up a play for a last second desperation shot, senior guard Larry Dumas was fouled off the ball with only one second remaining, sending him to the line with a chance to tie the game up. That he did as he hit both free throw in clutch fashion to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Eagles took control of the game as they built up a seven point lead with 1:53 to play. However, Evangel clawed their way back and trailed 97-95 with 29 seconds left. In the final seconds, both Larry Dumas and Brian Bradley went 1-2 at the free throw line to clinch the Eagles 99-95 win over 21st ranked Evangel.
Seniors Brian Bradley and Larry Dumas led the Eagles with 28 points and 26 points respectively while Sean Montgomery chipped in with 19 points in Coach Bruehl's 500th win.
"This was a good win for us over a very good Evangel team," stated Bruehl. "We have a new team that has not played together and at times you can see that was the case, but in the end they were able to put together to pull out the win."
Bruehl had this to say about his milestone 500th victory, "It's nice to achieve milestones in your career and I'm very fortunate to have coached long enough to earn my 500th win. However, the most important thing about tonight's victory is that our team is 1-0 to open this season."
The Eagles travel to Valparaiso, Ind., on Nov. 3 to play NCAA Division I Valparaiso University in an exhibition game. Tip-off is at 7:05 P.M. and the game can be heard live on the Eagles Sports Network.