The Campaign

Broncs ambush Gaels en route to 103-85 road win

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: February 19, 2017
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Courtesy: Neil Davis
NEW ROCHELLE, NYJimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) led five Broncs in double figures with 28 points as the Rider University men’s basketball team stunned Iona, 103-85, on the road Sunday evening. The Broncs shot a season-high 59.7 percent (40-67) from the floor, including 50.0 percent (9-18) from long range to improve to 15-14 (8-10 MAAC), while the Gaels slip to 18-11 (11-7 MAAC). The win is the Broncs’ first at Hynes Athletic Center since the 2010-11 season. 

Taylor hit 11-of-14 shots, including 5-of-6 from long range. He also made three steals. Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands/Red Lion Christian [Southern Miss]) added 20 points and six rebounds, while Stevie Jordan (Bensalem, PA/Conwell-Egan/API) went for 17 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) posted his league-leading 11th double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Xavier Lundy (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) also finished in double figures with 11 points. 

Jordan Washington scored a game-high 38 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Iona, while Jon Severe added 16 points. 

“I tell these guys all the time, any given night, any team can beat anybody,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “So, if we can prove that we can beat these top teams, we should go into this MAAC (Tournament) knowing that we should feel like we could beat anybody.”

Back-and-forth play in the early going left the score tied at 9-9 before Rider scored 21 of the next 26 points to open a 30-14 lead. Carey and Lundy led the Broncs with six points apiece in the run, with five Rider players contributing to the scoring column. The lead swelled to as many as 19 points in the first half on a Taylor jumper at the 6:43 mark. 

A 13-2 spurt from Iona cut the Broncs’ lead to 38-30, before Baggett called timeout and Rider would reel off the next five. Consecutive buckets from Severe cut the Broncs’ lead to single digits, but Taylor nailed an off-balanced three from just to the left of the top of the key to make it 50-38 Rider at the break. 

Taylor led the Broncs with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 3-of-4 from long range in the first half. Carey added 12 points on 3-of-4 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Jordan added nine points and five assists. Severe and Washington led Iona with 10 points apiece in the first half. 

The Broncs absorbed the Gaels best punch early in the second half, when Iona used an 8-1 spurt to pull to within seven at the 16:02 mark. But that was as close as Iona would get the rest of the way. The Broncs shot 65.6 percent (21-32) from the floor in the second half to put the game away, pushing the lead to as many as 20 points. 

“I wanted us to keep an aggressive mentality,” said Baggett. “Sometimes, we get back on our heels and allow teams to go after us. We just needed to continue to play the way we were playing, share the ball, defend the way that we defend. It starts on the defensive end.” 

For the game, Rider outshot Iona, 59.7 percent (40-67) to 40.6 percent (28-69) from the floor and 50.0 percent (9-18) to 29.2 percent (7-24) from long range. The Gaels took an 81.5 percent (22-27) to 56.0 percent (14-25) edge at the free-throw line, while Rider outrebounded Iona, 40-38. The Broncs finished with 24 assists to just 14 turnovers, turning a 17-14 edge in turnovers into a 28-15 discrepancy in points off turnovers. Rider also outscored Iona, 46-30, in the paint. 

The Broncs return to action Wednesday, when they play host to Manhattan. Tip-off from Alumni Gymnasium is set for 7 p.m. 
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