Men's College Basketball CIT
East Carolina University 75, Rider University 54
GREENVILLE, NC-The Rider University basketball season came to an end Saturday, losing to East Carolina in the second round of the Fifth Annual CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament,
"The way we played today is not the way we won this year," said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett, who led the Broncs to 19 wins. "We were pressing a little bit today and we just gave up too many 50-50 balls."
ECU out-scored Rider 40-25 in the second half. "We didn't play as good a second half as we needed to play," Baggett said.
For Rider (19-15), senior Jonathon Thompson (Orlando, Fla./Jones) compiled 18 points, making all 10 of his foul shots, along with four rebounds, a pair of blocks and two assists.
"I love Jon Thompson," Baggett said. "He's going to be missed. He's done everything we've asked him to do, on and off the court, and I couldn't be more proud of him."
Playing in his 128th and final game, Thompson ends his collegiate career with 952 points and 372 assists. His assist total is eighth most ever at Rider.
"I'm sure he has a future playing overseas," Baggett said. "He competes and brings it every night."
East Carolina (20-12) broke open a 55-44 game with a 14-0 run, six points by Ty Armstrong, to take a 69-44 lead with 3:11 remaining. Armstrong finished with 20 points.
ECU's 6'8" senior, first Team All-C-USA forward Maurice Kemp also had 20 points along with 15 rebounds.
The Broncs out-scored the Pirates 7-2 to start the second half, three points by junior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech), to cut the lead to 37-36 with 15:55 remaining, but that was as close as the Broncs could get. Myles finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Rider scored the final seven points of the first half, four points by Thompson and three by freshman Zedric Sadler (Detroit, Mich/Cody), to cut the lead to 35-29 at the half. Sadler finished with five points, four rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes off the bench.
ECU went on a 10-2 run, four points by Armstrong, to take a 30-16 lead with 4:10 left in the first half,
Trailing 16-7, Rider went on a 7-2 run, five points by junior Nurideen Lindsey (Philadelphia, PA/Overbrook), to cut the lead to 18-14 with 7:30 left in the first half. Lindsey finished with seven points, four steals, three rebounds and a pair of assists.
ECU jumped out to a 9-2 lead and led 16-7 midway through the first half.
The Pirates held Rider to just 27 percent shooting. "We missed too many layups and those are back-breakers when you are trying to stay in the game or trying to come back," Baggett said. "The missed layups were uncharacteristic of what we normally do."
ECU out-rebounded Rider 47-38. "Give those guys credit," Baggett said. "They're good."
This was Rider's fourth postseason tournament in the last six years. In 2011 Rider played Northern Iowa in the CIT. In 2009 the Broncs played Liberty in the CIT. In 2008 Rider played Old Dominion in the CBI.
"I really enjoyed us being in the CIT," Baggett said of Rider's first national postseason tournament victory since 1957, "but our mission is to get to the NCAA Tournament. I'm looking forward to doing that in the near future."