Rider 86, Canisius 70
Thompson had the ball on the baseline, about 15 feet from the hoop, needing to beat Canisius’ Tomas Vazquez-Simmons off the dribble.
As it played out, Vazquez-Simmons didn’t have a chance.
Thompson darted past Vazquez-Simmons and disregarded the Canisius players who came over to help, slamming home an emphatic dunk that capped an emphatic win.
Thompson’s final two points of the regular season were two of his loudest. The dunk, with 1:44 left in the game, helped send Rider to an 86-70 win over Canisius before 1,600 at Alumni Gym.
Rider, wildly inconsistent all year, followed a 26-point loss with an impressive win.
The Broncs, who would have fallen into the MAAC tournament play-in round with a loss, trailed 68-63 with 7:15 left. In desperate need of a rally, they got a convincing one.
Rider finished the game on a 23-2 run, putting the Golden Griffins away and locking up a date with Saint Peter’s Saturday in the MAAC tournament quarterfinals.
Justin Robinson scored 27 points on 8-for-10 shooting to lead Rider (16-15 overall, 9-9 MAAC). Thompson scored 17 points and Mike Ringgold added 12 points and nine rebounds. Brandon Penn (11 points) played well in 24 minutes off the bench, and Novar Gadson (10 points) reached double figures for the ninth time in 10 games.