Comeback bid falls just short against Saint Peter's
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) compiled his first-career double-double and the Rider University men’s basketball team used a 10-0 run to whittle a double-digit deficit down to one with 47 seconds left in regulation, but Saint Peter’s held on for a 71-65 victory Sunday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium. With the loss, the Broncs fall to 11-7 (4-3 MAAC), while the Peacocks improve to 8-8 (4-2 MAAC).
Taylor finished the game with 18 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. Stevie Jordan (Bensalem, PA/Conwell-Egan/API) led the Broncs with 19 points, five assists and three rebounds. Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) narrowly missed what would’ve been his ninth double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Trevis Wyche scored a game-high 20 points and added five steals and three assists for the Peacocks. Quadir Welton added a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Chazz Patterson scored eight of his 13 points on 100 percent shooting from the free-throw line. Cavon Baker also shot 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line to finish with 10 points. The Peacocks shot 65.2 percent (15-23) and finished at 51.2 percent (21-41) on the afternoon.
“Give Saint Peter’s credit. They took the fight to us right from the start,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “We didn’t show up right. We didn’t play with a sense of urgency like we needed to. We need certain guys to step up and some of the guys are struggling. It’s a two-game losing streak, but we’ll find our way.”
After the teams traded two points apiece early, Saint Peter’s scored seven-straight to take an 11-6 lead. The Broncs whittled the Peacocks’ lead to two on a pair of occasions, before Saint Peter’s gradually built the advantage up to 14, 37-23, on a Samuel Idowu bucket through a foul at the 2:40 mark. Rider scored 10 of the final 14 points, including a long Kealen Washington-Ives (Providence, RI/Classical/Putnam Science) three before the half to whittle the lead down to 41-33 at the break.
The Peacocks shot 65.2 percent (15-23) from the floor in the first half. Welton and Idowu led Saint Peter’s with eight points apiece, while Wyche had seven points and four steals. Jordan led the Broncs with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
The Broncs whittled the lead down to seven on four-straight points from Taylor just over two minutes into the second half. But a pair of three’s from Patterson and Wyche, both with the shot clock inside of two seconds, pushed the Peacocks’ lead back to double-digits.
Saint Peter’s worked its lead back up to 14 on a pair of occasions, the last coming on a pair of Wyche free throws with 6:49 remaining. The Broncs wouldn’t allow another Peacocks made field goal. Rider scored 15 of the next 17 points to pull to within one on Xavier Lundy’s (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) three-pointer with 47 seconds left. Jordan and Taylor scored five points apiece in the spurt.
But on the Peacocks’ next possession with a 17-second differential between the game and shot clocks, Jordan came up on the wrong end of a controversial foul call for a bump with the body, sending Wyche to the line for two free throws, both of which he buried with 30.3 seconds remaining.
Patterson then stole the inbounds and was fouled. He made both free throws to push the Saint Peter’s cushion back to two possessions. Jordan cut the deficit to two with a lay-up, but Saint Peter’s put the game away at the free-throw line.
“We can’t wait until the end of the game,” said Taylor. “We’ve got to come out at the beginning of the game with a sense of urgency, high energy and be ready to play.”
For the game, the Peacocks outshot the Broncs, 51.2 percent (21-41) to 40.0 percent (24-60) from the floor, 36.8 percent (7-19) to 22.2 percent (4-18) from long range and 81.5 percent (22-27) to 68.4 percent (13-19) from the free-throw line. The Broncs outrebounded Saint Peter’s, 34-29, outscored the Peacocks, 32-18, in the paint and took a 12-4 edge in second-chance points.
“There are highs and lows. But, in times like this, this is going to define who we are,” said Taylor. “Are we going to bounce back or are we going to fold? So, right now, this is where we’re going to find out who we really are as a team.”
The Broncs return to action Tuesday, when they travel to Siena in search of a sweep of the season series. Tip-off from the Times Union Center is slated for 7 p.m. Viewers outside of the state of New York can see the game on ESPN3, while those in New York can access the game on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
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