By John Manley
After a productive 1997-98 season as a backcourt starter for Robert Morris, Dubliner Niall Phelan found himself relegated to the bench this winter.
Phelan came by his starting spot last year due to injuries. With his teammates healthy for the 1998-99 campaign, Phelan was the victim of a numbers crunch; there are only so many minutes to go around. But his turn has come and he has produced.
Phelan played only 14 minutes in Morris’ 81-79 overtime loss to Mount St. Mary’s, but he was the team’s third leading scorer with 11 points, including two 3-pointers. He hit both shots he took from closer range, as well as one of two foul shots.
Phelan hit double figures again in a 70-60 victory over Central Connecticut State. His 10 points came on identical 2 for-5 shooting from both inside and outside the 3-point arc. Phelan accounted for 7 points in Morris’ 84-82 loss to Quinnipiac. He clicked on 3 of 9 from the floor, including 1 of 3 from long distance. Robert Morris is 9-9 overall and 6-6 in the Northeast Conference.
The close ones haven’t been going Rider’s way of late. The Broncs tasted defeat served upon them by St. Peter’s, 71-69, and Siena, 86-84. Junior Ken Lacey was a steadying influence in the key, reaching double figures in points in both games. Lacey, who plays for the Irish national team during the summer, scored 11 against St. Peter’s, nailing 5 of 7 from the floor and 1 of 2 from the foul line. He brought down 5 rebounds. Lacey then paced the Broncs with 21 points in the Siena loss. He was perfect on nine foul shots and converted 6 of 8 from the floor. He put the clamps on 11 rebounds and waylaid three Siena shots. Rider is 7-8 overall and 3-4 in the Metro Atlantic Conference.
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There’s no stopping Susan Moran. The St. Joseph’s, Pa., freshman forward continued her domination of opposing frontcourts in four recent games, which resulted in two wins and two losses for the Hawks. The young woman from Tullamore, Co. Offaly, was named the Atlantic 10 Conference’s co-Rookie of the Week.
A 63-58 victory over Massachusetts saw Moran drain 9 of 12 from the floor and 6 of 11 from the foul line for 24 points. She was credited with 7 rebounds as well. She then notched a double-double in a 71-55 win over Rhode Island. She made good on 8 of 11 field goal attempts as well as 7 of 9 free throws for 23 points. She had 10 rebounds (7 defensive, 3 offensive) and 2 steals.
The tide turned for St. Joe’s on a road trip west of their Philadelphia base. Moran led the Hawks with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Virginia Tech, but the Hokies prevailed, 65-56. Moran posted her third straight double-double in a 65-58 overtime loss to Duquesne. Moran scored 17 points and hauled down 13 boards. St. Joe’s is 11-7 overall and 6-2 in the Atlantic 10.
Track and Field
Providence took to the boards at Boston University, which was hosting the Terrier Cup Meet, with Keith Kelly breaking the tape in the marquee event.
Kelly, a junior from Drogheda, won the mile in 4 minutes, 13.48 seconds. Contesting other events for the Friars were Larry Morrissey, a junior from Waterford, who was fifth in the 800-meter run (1:53.89), and Ciaran Lynch, a sophomore from Limerick, who was fourth at 3,000 meters (8:38.99).