The Campaign

Broncs earn 72-66 road win at Canisius

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: January 30, 2017
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Courtesy: Steve McLaughlin
BUFFALO, NYJimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) scored a team-high 19 points and made all eight of his free-throw attempts as the Rider University men’s basketball team earned a 72-66 road win at Canisius Monday night at the Koessler Athletic Center. With the win, the Broncs improve to 13-10 (6-6 MAAC), while the Griffs slip to 13-10 (6-6 MAAC). 

Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while fellow seniors Xavier Lundy (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) and Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands/Red Lion Christian [Southern Miss]) joined Taylor and Thomas in double figures with 12 points apiece. 

Jermaine Crumpton led all scorers with 20 points to go along with six rebounds for Canisius. Kiefer Douse added 19 points, while Kassius Robertson scored 14 points, but was limited to just 1-of-7 shooting from long range. Malik Johnson dished out a game-high six assists. 

“I thought our guys really battled tonight,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “Canisius is a tough team to play. They’ve got a lot of guys who can score the ball. Reggie’s doing an unbelievable job up here. It was a good win. We needed it. We’ve been struggling of late. My seniors stepped up and played really well. We made free throws. I thought we did a good job tonight.”

An early 6-0 run gave Rider a 6-2 lead, before Canisius answered with the next 10 points to jump out to a 12-6 lead by the first media timeout. The Broncs gradually whittled the lead down until a dunk and a jumper from Thomas tied the game at 22-22 at the 5:57 mark of the first half. Lundy’s three-point play at the 5:13 mark gave Rider a 25-24 lead and the Broncs also held a pair of one-point leads inside of the final two minutes of the half. But Johnson’s driving lay-up with 23 seconds left in the period sent Canisius to the locker room with a 33-32 lead. 

Lundy and Carey led the Broncs with eight points apiece at the half, while Thomas and Taylor added six points each. Douse led Canisius with 10 points at the half, while Crumpton had nine. Robertson also had seven points. The Broncs outshot Canisius, 54.2 percent (13-24) to 44.4 percent (12-27) from the floor in the first half and took an 18-9 edge on the boards. But the Broncs were plagued by 12 first-half turnovers. 

Canisius extended to a six-point lead twice early in the second half, before a 9-0 Rider run gave the Broncs a 50-47 lead with 10:33 left. Taylor scored five points in the spurt on a three-pointer and two free throws. Three ties later at 52-52, 56-56 and 58-58, the Broncs got consecutive buckets from Thomas and Kealen Washington-Ives (Providence, RI/Classical/Putnam Science) to pull back out in front, 62-58, with 3:14 left. 

The lead swelled to as many as seven points on a pair of Washington-Ives free throws with just under a minute remaining. The Griffs would draw no closer than to within four points the rest of the way. 

“We needed to play to our tempo,” said Baggett. “We needed to force those guys to play the way we wanted to play. They’ve been getting up and down, they score over 80 points per game. We don’t. We score in the 70’s. But we wanted to force it to our tempo. They’ve got guys who can really score the ball, but we did a good job of defending the three-point line, giving up six three’s tonight. Anytime you can hold those guys down from making as many three’s as they normally make, then you give yourself a chance to win.”

For the game, the Broncs outshot the Griffs, 50.0 percent (23-46) to 38.2 percent (21-55) from the floor and 85.7 percent (24-28) to 78.3 percent (18-23) from the free-throw line. Rider outrebounded Canisius, 35-27. The Rider bench outscored that of Canisius, 20-4. 

The Broncs return to action Friday, when they play host to Iona on ESPNU. Tip-off from Alumni Gymnasium is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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