Strong second half pushes Broncs past Manhattan on Senior Night
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Senior guard Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) scored a team-high 28 points to move into 10th on the Broncs’ all-time career scoring list as the Rider University men’s basketball team defeated Manhattan, 93-82, on Senior Night Wednesday at Alumni Gymnasium. Taylor pushed his career total to 1,493 as the Broncs improved to 16-14 (9-10 MAAC). The Jaspers slip to 10-20 (5-14 MAAC) with the loss.
Rider erased a nine-point halftime deficit, outscoring Manhattan, 49-29, and outshooting the Jaspers, 66.7 percent (16-24) to 30.0 percent (9-30) in the second half. Taylor hit 7-of-15 field-goal attempts, 3-of-8 from long range and 11-of-13 at the free-throw line. Fellow seniors Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) and Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands/Red Lion Christian [Southern Miss]) also scored in double-figures with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Thomas grabbed nine rebounds, while Carey had eight. Kealen Washington-Ives (Providence, RI/Classical/Putnam Science) also contributed 12 points, six assists and five rebounds without committing a turnover in 31 minutes off the bench.
Zane Waterman scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Manhattan. Calvin Crawford added 17 points, but just two after halftime, while Zavier Turner (14) and Aaron Walker, Jr., (10) also finished in double figures.
“Hard-fought battle there. There were times it looked kind of doom and gloom for us, but we just kept talking about hanging around, giving ourselves a chance to get back into the game and once we got a chance to get the lead, we found a way to build the momentum from there,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “It started on the defensive end. Obviously, we scored 93 points. A good scoring night, but we needed to get some stops and get those guys under control.”
Manhattan used an early 9-0 spurt to establish a lead and extended to a 10-point lead on two occasions, before the Broncs pulled to within three on a pair of Taylor free throws at the 3:47 mark. But the Jaspers answered with an 8-0 run to build their largest lead of the half, 51-40. The Broncs cut the deficit to 53-44 at the break.
Taylor led Rider with 19 points in the first half on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-6 from long range and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. Waterman countered with 23 points, including 9-of-10 from the free-throw line and 6-of-8 from the floor. Crawford added 15 points and seven rebounds. The Jaspers shot 62.1 percent (18-29) from the floor, 57.1 percent (8-14) from long range and 81.8 percent (9-11) from the free-throw line.
“I’ve been telling Jimmie all year that he could score the ball like that anytime he wants to,” said Thomas. “He’s been picking it up a lot lately and we’ve been feeding off of him.”
The Jaspers kept the Broncs at arm’s reach for the first 10 minutes of the second half before Rider went on a 9-0 run to take their first lead since 4-3 in the opening minutes of the game. Manhattan tied the game at 72-72 and 74-74 before the Broncs scored the next six points and never relinquished the lead. Two Taylor free throws gave the Broncs the lead for good and the spurt was punctuated by buckets from Carey and Thomas.
“We tried to stay more in man. We did a good job handling the ball screen defense,” said Baggett. “Around the 10-minute mark of the second half, they were picking and popping with Waterman a great deal and Turner was turning the corner some, but once we were able to get them under control, we did a better job.”
The Broncs took a 54.4 percent (31-57) to 45.8 percent (27-58) advantage from the floor for the game. Rider also outscored Manhattan, 46-18, in the paint for the game and took a 13-2 advantage on fast-break points. The Broncs outrebounded the Jaspers, 41-27, and registered 18 assists to just nine turnovers.
The Broncs close out the regular season Sunday afternoon at Quinnipiac. Tip-off from the TD Bank Sports Center is slated for 2 p.m.
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