Men’s College Basketball
Canisius College 94, Rider University 91 (2 OT)
BUFFALO, NY— Westbound on Interstate 90 there is a sign that states ‘Buffalo, an All-America City’.
On Friday night, Canisius senior guard Billy Baron made a case for being an All-American player.
Despite a career-high 30 points from senior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech) the Broncs lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at Canisius in double overtime Friday night.
“Give Canisius credit,” said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett. “It was a great game. I thought our guys played really well. But Baron, that’s why he is the best player in the league.”
A finalist for the Bob Cousy Award as the top point guard in the country, Baron scored 38 points, including the game-winning three-point field goal with 0.2 left in the second overtime. “We threw a few different defenders at him and we did a good job with him in the first half,” Baggett said. “The second half he just took the initiative of being more aggressive. He makes big shots.”
Baron scored just six points in the first half but made a lay-up and foul shot with 10.6 left in the first overtime to tie the score at 76-76, sending the game into a second overtime.
Myles hit a three-pointer with 10 seconds left in double overtime to tie the score at 91-91.
Rider sophomore Zedric Sadler (Detroit, Mich/Cody) hit a jumper with 21.1 left in the first overtime to give Rider a 76-73 lead. Sadler finished with 16 points and four assists in 42 minutes of work.
Myles hit a three-pointer to give Rider a 72-71 lead with 3:06 left in the first overtime and Sadler hit a jumper with 1:06 left to give Rider a 74-72 lead. “The game was full of ups and downs,” said Myles.
The game featured 14 lead changes and 13 ties.
“We found a way to fight to get the game into overtime,” Myles said. “Baron played an outstanding game.”
“Anthony had an outstanding game,” Baggett said.
Sadler scored a basket and a foul shot with 23 seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 69, sending the game into overtime.
Canisius (10-6, 4-1 MAAC) trailed 58-54 before Baron single-handedly out-scored Rider 7-2 to give the Griffs a 61-60 lead.
Trailing 44-42, Rider out-scored Canisius 11-0, seven points by Myles, to take a 53-44 lead with 10:31 left to play in the second half.
Canisius out-scored Rider 11-2 to start the second half to take a 42-39 lead with 14:52 remaining in the second half.
Trailing 31-29, Rider scored the final eight points of the first half, including a pair of three-pointers from Taylor and Sadler, to take a 37-31 lead at the half.
Rider (7-7, 3-2 MAAC) made four of its first five three-point shots to build a 16-10 lead mid-way through the first half. The Broncs made six of nine three-point shots in the first half but finished the game 10 for 24 from beyond the arc.
Also for the Broncs, freshman Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, Fla./Blanche Ely) added 12 points in 42 minutes off the bench, and sophomore Shawn Valentine (Sicklerville, NJ/Phelps) added 11 points, six rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes off the bench.
With the win Canisius is 5-0 at home and has now won four of its last six and nine of its last 13 games.
Since joining the MAAC Rider is 28-9 against Canisius. The overall series began in 1929-30 and Rider has won 30 of the 39 meetings. Of the 39 meetings, 13 have been decided by five points or less.
The last time Rider went double overtime the Broncs lost to Niagara in the 2009 MAAC semi-finals. The last time Rider played double overtime in a regular season game the Broncs lost to Wagner in 1991-92.
Rider stays in Western New York to take on Niagara Sunday afternoon.