Broncs fall at South Florida, 70-65
TAMPA, FL – Senior Xavier Lundy (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) led the Rider University men’s basketball team with 16 points, but the Broncs fell at the University of South Florida, 70-65, Saturday night at the USF Sun Dome. With the loss, the Broncs fall to 2-1, while the Bulls improve to 2-1.
Lundy hit on 6-of-12 field goals and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) added 11 of his 15 points in the second half, while also making a game-high three steals. Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands/Red Lion Christian [Southern Mississippi]) contributed 11 points and nine rebounds, while Stevie Jordan (Bensalem, PA/Conwell-Egan/API) chipped in with 10 points and four assists.
Geno Thorpe led USF with 18 points, five assists and three steals, while Tulio Da Silva (13), Malik Fitts (11) and Troy Holston (10) also finished in double figures.
“It was just a total self-infliction,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “It’s not anything that they did. It’s all what we did. In the second half, we had 10 turnovers and two assists. That’s the game right there. We shot too many threes and we just got out of character on the defensive end. We didn’t defend well, we gambled and so you get beat.”
Neither team could create much separation in the early going, with USF building a five-point cushion on two occasions in the first 15 minutes. But the Broncs outscored the Bulls, 12-4, to end the first half with a 37-34 lead. The Broncs outshot the Bulls, 46.2 percent (12-26) to 43.3 percent (13-30) from the floor and converted 11-of-15 opportunities at the free-throw line. Lundy led the Broncs with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the first half, while Jordan added seven points, four assists and two steals. Fitts led USF with 11 points and five rebounds.
Rider withstood the Bulls first punch in the second half, coming back from a pair of one-point USF leads to rebuild their largest lead of the game, 53-45, as Carey punctuated a 7-0 run with a dunk at the 11:19 mark. Taylor got things started with three free throws and a steal and fast-break bucket. The five points in the run gave him 11 for the half and 15 for the game.
With Rider still leading by five, 60-55, with less than eight minutes remaining, USF went on an 8-0 run and didn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the way. Da Silva scored the final five points of the run. Lundy responded with a lay-up to pull the Broncs to within one, but USF scored the next bucket and maintained a lead of at least three points the rest of the way.
For the game, USF outshot Rider, 46.4 percent (26-56) to 37.7 percent (23-61) from the floor and 31.6 percent (6-19) to 15.0 percent (3-20) from long range. Rider took a 72.7 percent (16-22) to 57.1 percent (12-21) advantage from the free-throw line and outrebounded the Bulls, 43-33.
Rider returns to action Wednesday afternoon, when it travels to Fordham. Tipoff from The Bronx is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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