Five score in double figures, Broncs get past Niagara, 89-78
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Xavier Lundy (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) led five Broncs in double figures with 17 points as the Rider University men’s basketball team defeated Niagara, 89-78, Sunday evening at Alumni Gymnasium. With the win, the Broncs’ third-straight, Rider improves to 11-5 (4-1 MAAC). Niagara falls to 5-11 (2-3 MAAC).
Anthony Durham (Philadelphia, PA/Abington/Putnam Science) scored a career-high 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor, 3-of-5 from long range and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) added 13 points, while Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) had 12 points and a team-high six rebounds. Kealen Washington-Ives (Providence, RI/Classical/Putnam Science) also chipped in with a season-high 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting, burying both of his three-point attempts and both of his chances at the free-throw line. Stevie Jordan (Bensalem, PA/Conwell-Egan/API) also had eight points and a team-high four assists.
Matt Scott scored a game-high 22 points for Niagara, while also finishing with eight rebounds and four assists. Marvin Prochet, Dominic Robb and Kahlil Dukes each added 12 points for the Purple Eagles, with Prochet also grabbing a game-high nine rebounds.
“It speaks about our team. It speaks about our seniors and our returning players,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “On a night where Stevie struggled and got into foul trouble, I thought Kealen Washington-Ives came off the bench and played some good minutes for us. Obviously Anthony did as well. Tyere did some decent things here and there with his 10 minutes. It’s a team. We’re not playing our best basketball, but we’re finding a way to win. We defended the way that we needed to in the second half and win the game. It’s good to be 4-1 in the league.”
A back-and-forth first half that saw four lead changes and six ties ended with Rider on top, 44-41. The Broncs surged ahead, 15-7, on consecutive buckets by Thomas, including a three-point play at the 15:13 mark. The Purple Eagles whittled the lead away until it was tied at 25-25 on a Shane Gatling three at the 9:38 mark.
Rider scored seven of the next nine points to reestablish a 32-27 lead, including Washington-Ives’ three to cap the spurt. Niagara scored the next seven points to take a 34-32 lead and the game was tied at 39-39 with less than 90 seconds left in the half. Rider outscored Niagara, 5-2, to close the half and take a 44-41 lead into the break.
Four different Broncs - Thomas, Taylor, Washington-Ives and Durham - scored seven points apiece in the first half. Scott led all scorers with 15 first-half points for Niagara.
The Broncs built a five-point lead three times early in the second half, but Niagara got five-straight points for Chris Barton to tie the game at 50-50. Marvin Prochet tied the game at 65-65 with a three at the 8:49 mark, before the Broncs blew the game open with a 12-0 run. Thomas hit a pair of free throws to begin the run, followed by two more from Durham. Washington-Ives and Durham hit consecutive threes, before Lundy capped the run with a lay-up off his own steal. The closest Niagara could draw after that was to within six.
“I’m watching this young man get better and better every day,” said Baggett of Durham. “He told me he was going to be ready to score today and he did exactly what he said.”
For the game, the Purple Eagles outshot the Broncs, 48.2 percent (27-56) to 47.6 percent (30-63) from the floor and 52.6 percent (10-19) to 50.0 percent (11-22) from long range. The Broncs took an 85.7 percent (18-21) to 70.0 percent (14-20) advantage from the free-throw line. Niagara outrebounded Rider, 34-29, while the Broncs enjoyed a 27-10 edge in points off turnovers.
Rider returns to action Friday, when it travels to Manhattan. Tip-off from Draddy Gymnasium is scheduled for 9 p.m. on ESPNU.
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