Men's College Basketball
University of Delaware 73, Rider University 66
NEWARK, DE- Millions of people spend New Year's Eve night watching the ball drop in New York's Times Square.
The Rider basketball team spent New Year's Eve day watching the ball drop into the Blue Hens' hands, being out-rebounded 52-31 in a loss at Delaware.
"Today's game came down to rebounding," said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett, who saw his Broncs lose their fourth straight game. "You are not going to win when you are out-rebounded like we were today."
Holding a 65-64 lead, Delaware (5-8) out-scored Rider 8-2 over the final 4:50 of the game, six points by Devon Saddler, who finished with 12 points.
Rider (6-8) freshman Shawn Valentine (Sicklerville, NJ/Phelps) made a three-point field goal with 6:10 remaining to give Rider a 61-60 lead. "We take the lead and then make some dumb mistakes and again commit costly turnovers at the worst time," Baggett said.
That was the seventh of eight lead changes in the game. Valentine finished with six points and five rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
Trailing 51-38, Rider went on a 13-3 run, five points by senior Jonathon Thompson (Orlando, Fla./Jones), to cut the lead to 54-51 with 10:35 remaining. Thompson finished with 10 points, a team-high seven rebounds and seven assists.
The Blue Hens out-scored Rider 12-6 to start the second half, four points by Josh Brinkley, to take a 51-38 lead with 15:20 remaining. Brinkley finished with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Jamelle Hagins compiled 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Blue Hens.
Delaware out-scored Rider 9-2 over the final 3:19 of the first half to take a 39-32 lead at intermission.
Trailing 7-5, Rider went on an 8-0 run, four points by junior Nurideen Lindsey (Philadelphia, PA/Overbrook), to take a 13-7 lead with 15:10 left in the first half. Lindsey finished with 13 points.
Junior Daniel Stewart (Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti) added 13 points for Rider.
Playing in his home state in front of many friends and relatives in attendance, Rider junior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech) compiled seven points and two assists before fouling out.
The last time Rider played Delaware was in the 2010-11 BracketBuster game, a 95-86 Bronc victory at Rider.
Rider had won the last four meetings and seven of the last eight against its former Middle Atlantic Conference and East Coast Conference rival. Overall, Delaware now holds a 32-30 advantage in the series that began in 1969-70.
Rider travels to Loyola Maryland January 4 for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game. "We have to recover from this loss and get ready to play Loyola," Baggett said.
Many people celebrate New Year's because it is a new beginning of sorts, starting with a clean slate. The Broncs look forward to conference play with a 1-1 MAAC record and the chance to wipe the slate clean.