Men’s College Basketball
Rider University 89, University of Pennsylvania 88
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ— Benjamin Franklin, the founder of the University of Pennsylvania, once said “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
Rider senior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech) came in off the bench to score 16 points, including a three-point field goal with 23 seconds remaining to give Rider an 89-88 win over Penn Sunday afternoon.
“A heck of a game by our guys,” said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett. “I thought Penn played really well. It went down to the wire and we were resilient.”
Trailing 88-82, Rider (6-5) out-scored Penn (2-8) 7-0 over the final 3:08, including four points from the foul line by senior Daniel Stewart (Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti) that cut the lead to 88-86. “We got four straight stops and we’re capable of doing that,” Baggett said of his game-ending defense. “We just need to play like that all the time.”
Stewart, who also came up with a steal with 1.6 seconds left to preserve the win, finished with 18 points, making 11 of 13 foul shots, and grabbed 10 rebounds. “We had to have a stop there,” Stewart said of his late steal. “I made the same play yesterday in practice and Coach Baggs called a foul. It wasn’t a foul yesterday and it wasn’t a foul again today.”
“My seniors did a really good job of leading their team.” Baggett said. “Anthony hit the big three at the end and Danny with his production.”
“The team was resilient today,” said Myles, who did not start due to a violation of team rules. “Coach Baggett drew up that final shot and told me if I saw light to shoot it and that’s what I did.”
Rider went on a 14-4 run, five points by Stewart, to cut the Penn lead to 83-79 with 4:19 remaining. “It was a game of runs,” Baggett said.
Penn out-scored Rider 18-5 to start the second half, 11 points by Fran Dougherty, to take a 54-43 lead with 14:46 left to play. Dougherty finished with 18 points.
Making his second start of the season and the first since November 17, Rider senior Tommy Pereira (Nottingham, England/Canarias Basketball Academy) added 12 points, making four of six three-point attempts.
“Tommy hit some big shots for us,” Baggett said.
Pereira’s three-pointer gave Rider a 37-36 lead at the half. “I made my first one and the confidence grew when I made the second one,” said Pereira. “After that it was ‘give me the ball, it’s going in’.”
Trailing 32-20, Rider out-scored Penn 17-4 over the final 5:45 of the first half, nine points by freshman Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, Fla./Blanche Ely) and six points by Pereira, to take a 37-36 lead at the half. Thomas finished with 14 points and six rebounds off the bench. “I’ve been begging Kahlil to get going and tonight he got going,” Baggett said. “He hit some jump shots for us today.”
Rider’s bench compiled a season-high 44 points. “Before the game I told the players we would need more production from our bench,” Baggett said. “Last game we got none and that is why we struggled. I like our depth.”
Penn trailed 12-9 before out-scoring Rider 16-4, eight points by Julian Harrell, to take a 25-16 lead with 8:45 left in the first half. Harrell finished with a game-high 23 points, making eight of 10 shots from the field.
Rider out-rebounded Penn 43-26. “Rebounding is effort and determination,” said Penn head coach Jerome Allen, who saw his Quakers score more points than he has ever seen in his five seasons. “You can’t expect to win when you are out-rebounded like that, no matter how well you shoot it.”
“I felt this was a game we should go to the glass quite a bit,” Baggett said.
The Quakers shot 59.6 percent from the field and made 10 of 18 three-pointers. Miles Jackson-Cartwright was six of nine from three point range and scored 20 points for Penn. “Sometime numbers do lie,” Allen said.
Rider tied a season high with 12 three-pointers, shooting 50 percent from long range.
Rider has now won its last three home games and has won 162 of the last 225 games in Alumni Gym (.720).
This was the fourth time Penn and Rider have met in the last 10 years and all three previous games had gone overtime. Rider won the first one, 77-72 here in Alumni Gym during the 2003-04 season, and Penn won 74-68 in the Palestra during the 2004-05 season. The Quakers won the last meeting, also here in Alumni Gym, 78-72 on November 17, 2011.
With the win over Penn Rider completes the non-conference portion of the schedule.
Rider returns to MAAC play by hosting Niagara January 2. “I’m looking forward to MAAC play with this group,” Baggett said. “Today showed why I love this group. They play hard, they play together and they enjoy being around one another.”
Ben Franklin also said “Well done is better than well said.”