Men's College Basketball
Rider University 77, Canisius College 76
BUFFALO, NY--Junior Novar Gadson (Philadelphia, Pa./John Bartram) grabbed an offensive rebound and scored at the buzzer to give Rider a come-from-behind Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win at Canisius Sunday afternoon. "We feel fortunate to be getting on the bus with a win today," said Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey. "Most of the day it didn't look like it was going to go in that direction."
Gadson finished with 16 points and five rebounds. "I just tried everything I could to get the rebound and put it back in," said Gadson, who has now compiled 88 points, 35 rebounds, 12 assists, five steals and eight blocks in his last five games.
The score was tied at 71 with 4:30 left. Sophomore Jonathon Thompson (Orlando, Fla./Jones) scored a basket and free throw to give Rider (12-5, 4-1 MAAC) a 75-71 lead with 2:33 left.
Julius Coles made a three-pointer and a two-pointer to give Canisius (7-8, 1-4 MAAC) a 76-75 lead with 1:35 remaining. "I thought Canisius played a terrific game," Dempsey said. "They executed very well and they made some big shots."
Trailing 63-61, Rider went on an 8-4 run, all eight by senior Justin Robinson (London, England/Blair Academy), to take a 69-67 lead with 5:45 remaining.
Trailing 56-45, Rider went on a 14-0 run, six points by Robinson, to take its first lead of the game, 59-56 with 11 minutes left.
Robinson led Rider with 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds, but it was Robinson's miss that Gadson grabbed prior to the winning shot. "It was nerve-racking down the stretch," Robinson said, "but we won. It was a great win."
Senior Mike Ringgold (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) added 17 points, making five of seven foul shots.
Freshman Danny Stewart (Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti) added six points and a game-high eight rebounds, as the Broncs out-rebounded the Griffs 37-32. "To out-rebound them was big," Dempsey said. "They are one of the best rebounding teams in the league."
Freshman Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech) added eight points and five rebounds.
The victory was Rider's sixth in a row, the longest streak for the Broncs since Rider won 10 straight in 2007-08. "There are a lot of ups and downs in a college basketball season," Dempsey said. "We're in a good way right now. At times like this we might have been a little bit lucky, but you make your own luck. If we had not played well we would not have been in that position to win it at the end."
With the win, Rider is now 6-3 in away games.
Trailing 37-25, Rider went on an 11-0 run, six points by Gadson, to cut the lead to 37-36 and Canisius led 42-36 at the half.
Canisius scored the first nine points of the game and led 15-6 after six minutes of play, seven points by Greg Logins, who finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. .
The Broncs made 11 of 22 three-pointers. Rider is currently fifth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage.
The 12-5 start is the best start for Rider since beginning the 1982-83 season 14-4. Rider was 18-6 at one point during the 2007-08 season but began that year 8-6.
Robinson was four for four from the foul line. Robinson is second in the MAAC in free throw percentage.
Ringgold is now 21st in career scoring and 11th in career rebounds at Rider.
In 14 seasons in the MAAC, the only other time Rider won at both Niagara and Canisius in the same season was 2001-02, but that year Rider took two different trips to Western New York. This is the first time that Rider defeated both Niagara and Canisius on the same road trip.
The Broncs return home to host Iona Friday. "The season is a roller coaster ride," Dempsey said. "We're on a high right now and we have to try and stay there."