Broncs outlast Siena, 71-69
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Xavier Lundy (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) scored a game-high 20 points and Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands/Red Lion Christian Academy [Southern Miss]) added a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Rider University men’s basketball team outlasted Siena, 71-69, Monday night at Alumni Gym. With the win, the Broncs (4-3) evened their MAAC record at 1-1. The Saints fall to 3-6 (1-1 MAAC) with the setback.
Stevie Jordan (Bensalem, PA/Conwell-Egan/API) added seven points and a season-high nine assists, while Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) scored nine points and made two steals. Tyere Marshall (Philadelphia, PA/Martin Luther King/Putnam Science) added eight points and six rebounds. Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) contributed five points and 11 rebounds.
Lavon Long led Siena with 19 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Javion Ogunyemi added 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Nico Clareth narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds to go along with three assists and three steals. Brett Bisping also came a point away from a double-double with nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while Marquis Wright added nine points and five assists.
“Huge win. Certainly needed it. I thought our guys played well,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “I don’t know if Siena will ever shoot as poorly as they shot tonight. I saw Clareth shoot 7-of-15 last game against Fairfield and it scared me to death. Those guys are a good team. Give our guys credit because I challenged them today, asking them, ‘who are we?’ and ‘we have a chance to show some people here in the league and outside the league where we stand.’ I know it’s one game, but we certainly needed to win this game because it was at home.”
The first half featured 10 ties and eight lead changes. Siena scored the game’s first five points and seven of the first nine to establish an early five-point lead. But Rider got a three-point play from Carey, two Lundy free throws, a Thomas putback and a Jordan transition bucket to cap a 9-2 run and give the Broncs their first lead of the game, 11-9.
The Saints scored the next six points to reestablish a lead, before four-straight points from Carey and Marshall knotted the game and a right-corner three from Lundy capped the 7-0 run and gave Rider a 20-17 lead. Trailing by two, Siena went on a 7-0 lead of its own to jump back ahead, 29-24, with 7:46 left in the half. An Ogunyemi three-point play capped the spurt. Rider retook the lead with another 7-0 run, this time capped by a tough Marshall post move at the 3:33 mark. Siena outscored the Broncs, 7-4, to close the half, including a desperation three-point heave from Khalil Richard when he realized the shot clock was about to expire at the last second, to take a 44-43 lead at the break.
Lundy led all scorers in the first half with 16 points on 5-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-2 from long range and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Marshall added eight points on 4-of-5 shooting and five rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench, while Carey added seven points and five rebounds. Jordan contributed five points and five assists. The Broncs shot 53.1 percent (17-32) in the first half. Clareth and Long paced Siena with 10 points apiece.
Following four early lead changes in the second half and a 50-50 tie, Siena scored six-straight points, the last four coming courtesy of Rider turnovers. Immediately following a Rider timeout, Taylor knocked down a right-wing three and Dimencio Vaughn (New York, NY/Callaway/The Masters School) scored the next three points on a free-throw and a tip-in to tie the game at 56-56. The run extended to 8-0 on a Carey putback, but just as quickly Siena scored eight-straight points to reestablish a 64-58 lead with just over nine minutes left.
Both teams went cold from the floor, with a Bisping free throw at the 5:47 mark signifying the first scoring in over three minutes. Carey then got inside for a bucket at the 5:11 mark, sparking a 9-1 run as the Broncs retook a 67-66 lead on 1-of-2 free throw from Jordan at the 3:08 mark. Following an Ogunyemi bucket with 2:47 left, Lundy knocked down a floater with 2:22 left to give Rider the lead for good. Still just a two-point lead with eight seconds left, Clareth got a clear look at the three from the left wing, but it would not fall and Carey secured the rebound and the Rider victory.
“We got down by six and they started to make a run and we had a few turnovers there and guys came to the huddle saying, ‘hey, we’re fine, let’s just get back on D, let’s get a stop,’ and again, the seniors did a really good job keeping guys in it,” said Baggett. “My man here (Jordan), a freshman, just needs to close the game out a little better. But other than that, nine assists and four turnovers… I’ll take that all day long.”
For the game, Rider outshot Siena, 41.9 percent (26-62) to 35.0 percent (28-80) from the floor and 29.4 percent (5-17) to 5.3 percent (1-19) from long range. Siena outrebounded the Broncs, 52-49, signifying the first time this season that Rider has been outrebounded. The Saints also took a 60.0 percent (12-20) to 56.0 percent (14-25) edge from the free-throw line.
“Last year’s team, those opportunities always went the opposite way for us. We were always on the wrong side,” said Lundy. “It seemed like today, we just buckled down. Every time they got an offensive rebound, we just stayed with it. Nobody got upset, everybody just stayed locked in and focused on defense and nobody gave up on the play.”
The Broncs return to action Saturday, when they begin Gotham Classic play at the University of the Pacific. Tipoff from Stockton Arena is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. (ET)/7:30 p.m. (PT).
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