EMMITSBURG -- Jarrett Durham managed to find some humor in the situation.
His Robert Morris College basketball team's final avenue to the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament was blocked zTC yesterday, but the coach quipped, "When you can't get a judge in your hometown ruling in your favor, it's over."
An Allegheny (Pa.) County Common Pleas Court judge denied the Colonials their last chance to override their NCAA probation yesterday, so their season ended last night at Knott Arena.
They finished with a flourish, dominating Mount St. Mary's team, 90-66, in a Northeast Conference game that ended the college career of Baltimore's Andre Boyd, Robert Morris' outstanding guard.
"I thought our kids came out and asserted themselves early," Durham said. "Generally, we start out slowly, but today we got on top of things."
The Colonials (17-11, 12-4) have a chance to tie for the conference's regular-season title, but to do so, both Fairleigh-Dickinson and St. Francis (Pa.) must lose their final league games tomorrow.
They won the previous two conference championships before being placed on a two-year probation by the NCAA for rules violations that largely involved Boyd, a Walbrook graduate.
"I happy they [the school] decided to appeal," Durham said. "But I refused to let our kids to get too caught up in the political stuff. We were ready to play."
The Mount (8-18, 6-9) apparently wasn't.
It never led, fell behind, 72-43, midway through the second half and shot 33.9 percent from the field.
"We didn't expect that," said coach Jim Phelan, "but better days are coming. I guess we're just playing out the season."
Phelan started five seniors in his 16th different lineup of the year, but it was not a banner night for any of them except for Scott Murphy, who had a game-high 26 points.
Alex Watson and John Miller, usually big scorers, combined for 35 minutes and six points.
"Not being able to play in the tournament hurts some," said Phelan, "but we just had too many turnovers, lost contact with the lead, had too many shooters not shooting."
Robert Morris beat the Mount earlier in the season, 99-71.
Unless Phelan's team wins its finale, it will be saddled with the second-poorest final record of his 37-year career. The Mount is not eligible for the NEC tournament as it concludes a three-year wait after entering Division I.