Rider senior Jimmie Taylor scored 19 points, while fellow senior Kahlil Thomas added 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds, as the visiting Broncs defeated Canisius 72-66 Monday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win snapped Rider’s two-game losing streak and improved the team to 13-10 overall and 6-6 in MAAC play while the Golden Griffins fell to 13-10 on the year and 6-6 in league games.
Canisius junior Jermaine Crumpton scored a game-high 20 points to go with six rebounds and two steals in the loss for the Blue and Gold, while senior guard Kiefer Douse scored a career-high 19 points. Junior Kassius Robertson scored 14 points and dished out three assists for Canisius, which shot 38.2 percent from the field and 24 percent from 3-point land for the game.
Canisius used a 7-2 run over the span of 1:28 to take a 47-41 lead with 12:51 left in the game. In that run, Canisius got an alley-oop dunk by Douse, a dunk in transition by junior Selvedin Planincic and then a steal by freshman Isaiah Reese that set up a 3-pointer by Crumpton. After Crumpton’s triple, one of his three on the night, Rider took a 30-second timeout. Out of that stoppage, the Broncs countered with a run of their own, outscoring Canisius 9-0 over the next 1:53 to take a 50-47 lead with 10:33 left on the clock.
The game would remain close for the next few minutes before Rider scored five-straight points over the game’s next 1:06 to take a 63-58 advantage with 2:49 left in regulation time. Canisius’ offense struggled down the stretch, as the Griffs went 6:13 without a field goal, scoring all eight points at the free-throw line until senior Phil Valenti laid one over the rim with 16 seconds left to make the score 68-64 in favor of the Broncs.
Rider ended the night shooting 50 percent from the field, 15.4 percent from 3-point land and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line, while holding a 35-27 advantage on the boards. The Broncs outscored Canisius 32-24 in the paint, while Canisius was able to turn 19 Rider turnovers into 25 points.
Valenti scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds in the loss for Canisius, which has now dropped four of its last five games. Freshman guard Malik Johnson added a game-high six assists to Canisius’ cause as the Blue and Gold ended the contest with 14 assists on 21 makes from the field.
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“Rider out-toughed us tonight, that’s essentially what happened. They had 35 rebounds for the game. We had nine rebounds at halftime. Give them credit. They came in here and worked hard for this win.”
“We need to raise our level of determination when things get hard. We can’t be a victim. We have to learn how to play with some grit.”
“They have some big-body guys and they went inside to them tonight. But their guards went to the basket as well. They had 19 turnovers, and shot 15 percent from three. Obviously, we didn’t shoot it as well as we normally do. But they just pounded it inside on us.”
Inside the Box Score
• Rider’s reserves outscored Canisius’ bench 20-4. Graduate student Norville Carey was good for 12 of those 20 points for the Broncs.
• Rider went to the free-throw line 28 times, connecting on 24 of those tosses from the charity stripe (85.7 percent). Coming into the game, Rider ranked 325th in the nation in free-throw percentage at 63.9 percent.
• The game featured 10 ties and nine lead changes.
• This was the 45th all-time meeting between the two teams, with Rider holding a 34-11 lead in the series.
• Crumpton has now scored 20-or more points in eight games this year.
• Robertson saw his string of games with multiple 3-point field goals come to an end at 17. He went 1-for-7 from 3-point land on Monday.
• Johnson has now dished out six assists in each of the team’s last two games. In the Griffs’ last five contests, he boasts an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.0.
• Johnson has dished out multiple assists in 21 of the team’s 23 games to date. He needs just five more assists to become the fourth Canisius freshman since 1973 to dish out 100-plus assists in a season.
• Reese led the Griffs with a career-high four steals on Monday. His has multiple steals in 11 games this year.
Canisius will return to action Saturday, Feb. 4, when the team travels to Albany, New York to play Siena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and ESPN3, and the audio call will be on Timeless WECK 1230-AM and 102.9-FM in Buffalo and the Golden Griffin Broadcast Network.