Men's College Basketball
Southern Methodist University 83, Rider University 70
DALLAS, TEXAS-In a game that featured the Broncs and the Mustangs, one had to expect a real horse race.
In this race, which was neck 'n neck at several times, SMU led wire to wire. "We're getting better every game," said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett, "so there are positives out there. We had a little more balance in our scoring tonight, so that's positive."
The Broncs fell to the Mustangs of SMU in the second round of the Hoops for Hope Classic Wednesday night.
The Mustangs, who are 5-0 under new head coach Larry Brown, were led by a pair of thoroughbreds, sophomore guard Ryan Manuel, who compiled 24 points and 11 rebounds, and 6'9" Cannen Cunningham, who added 20 points.
"They scored 83 points," Baggett said. "We aren't going to win many games when that happens."
The Mustangs made 27 of 34 foul shots, including 10 of 13 down the stretch in the final 2:30 of the game to preserve the victory.
Holding a 55-52 lead, SMU went on an 11-5 run on the home turn, four points by Shawn Williams, to take a 66-57 lead with 6:00 left. Williams finished with eight points.
SMU used a 9-2 run to take a 53-43 lead with 12:50 remaining. Rider came right back with its own 9-2 run, five points by junior Nurideen Lindsey (Philadelphia, PA/Overbrook), to cut the lead to 55-52 with 9:20 left to play. Lindsey finished with 14 points in 30 minutes of work before fouling out.
Rider (2-3) out-scored SMU 7-6 on the backstretch, to start the second half, all seven points by junior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech), to cut the lead to 44-41 with 15:35 left to play. Myles finished with 19 points and six rebounds.
SMU led 24-14 before Rider out-scored the Mustangs 20-14 over the final 5:16 of the first half, nine points by junior Tommy Pereira (Nottingham, England/Canarias Basketball Academy), to cut the half time lead to 38-34.
Trailing 9-0 out of the gate, Rider out-scored SMU 12-5, four points by junior Daniel Stewart (Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti), to cut the lead to 14-12 with 9:35 left in the first half. Stewart finished with eight points
Rider senior Jonathon Thompson (Orlando, Fla./Jones) compiled 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Freshman Shawn Valentine (Sicklerville, NJ/Phelps) contributed eight points and two rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench.
The tote board said that Rider shot .415 from the field and made 17 of 24 foul shots. The Broncs made nine three-pointers but took 28 shots from beyond the arc.
SMU shot .571 from the field, including 8 of 11 three-pointers.
Both teams committed 16 turnovers. "It is frustrating because we are turning the ball over at the most inopportune times," Baggett said. "You are not going to win games like that, especially in the crunch time. We have to take care of the ball to give ourselves a chance to win the game."
The Broncs will give thanks Thursday, not for this race but for the opportunity to run again, on their way to Mexico. Rider takes on Jacksonville University Friday and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sunday, as the Hoops for Hope Classic culminates in Puerto Vallarta.
"Playing every other day, traveling in between, we're not able to do a lot of prep work but we'll get the guys ready to go," Baggett said. "Once we get another 'W' we'll get it going."
And they're off.