Robert Morris forward Wesley Fluellen spent most of this past week on crutches because of a bruised right foot. On Saturday night, he put down the crutches, and put the hurt on Mount St, Mary’s, scoring a career-high 31 points to lead the Colonials to only their fourth victory this season.
‘Wes played like a champion,’ Robert Morris coach Danny Nee said. ‘We had him on crutches to help keep the foot immobilized. We also limited his practice time.’
That certainly didn’t hamper Fluellen’s ability to perform in the game. Fluellen, who made 12 of 16 shots from the field and 7 of 9 from the free throw line, was back on crutches Sunday in order to rest his foot for tonight’s game.
Robert Morris plays host to the University of Baltimore-Maryland County at 7:30 p.m. at the Sewall Center. UMBC defeated Robert Morris, 80-73, earlier this season on a 25-point performance by 6-foot-1 junior guard Terrance Ward. Nee hopes to shut down Ward and that his Colonials can play against UMBC like they did on Saturday against Mount St. Mary’s.
‘We played with a lot of courage and determination, and we finished off the game,’ Nee said. ‘But, we have to take it one game at a time. UMBC is a big, young team with some good freshmen. We are just trying to defend our home court.’
Although Nee was happy with how his team played on Saturday, the Colonials need to find a way to keep playing with confidence. They played that way in losses to St. Francis (Pa.) and St. Francis (N.Y.) earlier this season. Nee recalled several times when his players made crucial game-winning plays in several losses this season.
The Colonials just have had trouble putting those key plays together in the same game. In one game they might play solid defense, but miss free throws down the stretch. Or, if the make most of their free throws their defense might not be as strong. Or, they might have a significant number of turnovers which lead to points for the other team.
‘We are not there yet,’ Nee said. ‘We are playing hard, but we need to continue to find a way to build off Saturday’s win, and go from there. We need to find the winning formula.’
It just might be keeping Fluellen on crutches.