Men’s College Basketball
Iona College 94, Rider University 71
SPRINGFIELD, MASS.—The 2013-14 season came to an end Saturday when the Broncs lost to the top seed and defending champion, Iona, in the quarterfinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament, held at the MassMutual Center.
“I thought Iona played exceptionally well today,” said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett. “They really shot it today. They have five players who average double-digits in scoring so you can’t key on any one or two players.”
The Gaels shot .596 from the field, including 11 of 25 three-pointers, and had three players score 18 or more points.
Holding a 60-50 lead, Iona (21-9) went on a 13-3 run, five points by Tre Bowman, to take a 73-53 lead mid-way through the second half. Bowman finished with 28 points.
Rider trailed 58-38 before out-scoring the Gaels 12-2, five points by senior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech), to cut the lead to 10 with 14:26 remaining. Myles finished with 19 points, five assists and four rebounds.
“Iona was in a good groove today,” Myles said. “Every time we made a run they would make another big shot.”
Iona never trailed, making its first three three-pointers and led 15-4 after six minutes of play.
Also for eighth seeded Rider (14-17), freshman Jimmie Taylor III (Branford, Fla./Suwannee) finished with 14 points while senior Daniel Stewart (Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti) added 12 points and seven rebounds.
The loss brings an end to the careers of Stewart, Myles and senior Tommy Pereira (Nottingham, England/Canarias Basketball Academy). “First and foremost I can’t thank my seniors enough for all that they’ve done for us over the four years,” Baggett said. “They gave us everything they had on and off the court.”
Stewart, a Second Team All-MAAC selection, compiled 1,436 career points, 13th most ever at Rider, and 888 rebounds, second most ever at Rider.
Myles, a Third Team All-MAAC selection, graduates with 1,417 career points, 14th most ever at Rider. “It’s tough coming off a loss like this but my four years have been great at Rider,” Myles said. “You form a brotherhood with so many guys.”
Pereira made 104 three-pointers at Rider, averaging 10.8 points per 40 minutes played in his career.
“We’ll go back and re-evaluate everything,” Baggett said abut preparing for next year, “but right now this is a chance for me to enjoy our seniors. They had a great year and a great career. I am certainly proud of them and I love them. They are like sons to me.”