Fairfield Holds Off Rider, 76-67
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Senior guard Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) scored a season-high 23 points, but the Rider University men’s basketball team’s second-half comeback bid came up short Thursday night against Fairfield, 76-67. With the loss in the Broncs’ home and league opener, Rider falls to 3-3 (0-1 MAAC). The Stags move to 5-1 (1-0 MAAC) with the victory.
Fairfield’s Tyler Nelson scored a game-high 38 points on 11-of-20 shooting, 6-of-10 from long range and 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. Amadou Sidibe added a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Rider’s Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) compiled his third double-double of the year with 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Xavier Lundy (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) also finished in double figures for the fifth time this season with 10 points. Rider played the majority of the last 28 minutes without starting point guard Stevie Jordan (Bensalem, PA/Conwell-Egan/API), who left the game due to injury. He returned briefly in the second half with his face bandaged and covered in a protective mask.
“Poor performance by us tonight, all the way around,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “Offensive, defensively, transition, taking care of the ball. I don’t really have a lot of positives to say.”
After Rider scored the game’s first two points on a Lundy pull-up jumper, Fairfield went on a 9-0 run to establish an early lead. The Broncs whittled the Stags’ lead with back-to-back Thomas buckets in the paint, before consecutive three’s from Lundy and Taylor gave Rider its first lead of the game, 16-15, at the 12:43 mark. The lead pushed to three on a Jordan fast-break lay-up at the 8:12 mark, before Fairfield scored six-straight points and 11 of the next 12 to jump out to a seven-point lead. Nelson scored eight points in the run.
The Fairfield lead swelled to nine on a pair of Jonathan Kasibabu free throws at the 2:28 mark. A quick 6-0 run, including the first four points from Taylor cut the deficit to three. But Fairfield got seven points in the final 58 seconds of the half from Nelson to push its lead back up to seven at the break.
Taylor led the Broncs with 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers, and two assists at the break. Thomas added eight points, four rebounds and two blocks, while Lundy scored seven points. Nelson led all scorers with 20 points on 6-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-5 from long range at the half. Jerome Segura added nine points and Sidibe had five points and eight rebounds.
After Carey opened the second-half scoring with a putback, Fairfield went on a 7-0 run to extend to a 12-point lead, 49-37, before the under-16 media timeout. Fairfield maintained a lead of at least eight points until Lundy capped a 6-0 spurt at the 1:55 mark with a right-wing three to cut the deficit to 70-65. But the Broncs could draw no closer.
For the game, the Broncs outshot the Stags, 41.4 percent (24-58) to 40.7 percent (22-54) from the floor. Fairfield took a 33.3 percent (7-21) to 27.8 percent (5-18) edge from long range and a 69.4 percent (25-36) to 50.0 percent (14-28) advantage from the free-throw line. Rider outrebounded its sixth-straight opponent, this time by a 41-39 margin.
The Broncs return to action Monday, when they play host to Siena. Tipoff from Alumni Gym is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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MBB: Team IMPACT PC 3/24/16
MBB: HL vs. Manhattan 2/28/16