Blogs > The Full-Court Press

Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gadson's late bucket gives Broncs big boost

LAWRENCEVILLE — Novar Gadson couldn’t have picked a better time to score his only basket of the second half.

The senior’s layup and free throw with 33 seconds remaining was the game-winning play in the Rider men’s basketball team’s 83-79 victory over Loyola Friday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

“Coach called my number and I just wanted to deliver,” said Gadson, who finished with a game-high 23 points. “We needed to beat a good team and go into the MAAC tournament with a little bit of momentum.”

After Gadson converted the free throw, Loyola chose not to call timeout and Shane Walker missed a 3-pointer with eight seconds to go.

Brandon Penn ripped down the rebound, and then made both free throws to ice the win -- the second of which sat on the front of the rim momentarily before dropping through.

“I willed that one in,” said coach Tommy Dempsey. “There was no way we were coming out of here with a loss tonight.”

Rider improved to 12-18 overall and 9-8 in the MAAC. With the win, it clinched fifth place and avoids having to sweat out Sunday’s finale against Fairfield.

Loyola, which was still chasing a regular season championship, fell to 20-8 overall and 12-5 in the league.

For Gadson, in what has been a frustrating season, hitting the winner felt that much sweeter.

“It wasn’t so much redemption,” Gadson said. “We just wanted to play real well. We want to gather some momentum and that started today.”
Dempsey knew all along he was going to Gadson.

“I just feel like our seniors have hung in and hung together,” Dempsey said. “I really wanted to give him an opportunity there and it was great to see him deliver in a money spot. We’ve been through a lot together and we only had two home games left so I wanted to give him an opportunity. It was great to see him step up.”

Gadson scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half but picked up his third foul with 3:47 to go until halftime forcing him to sit the remainder of the first half and the beginning of the second.

He struggled to get back in rhythm, collecting his fourth foul with 10:20 remaining and missing his two shot attempts previous to the winner.

Jeff Jones finished with 16 points, Jon Thompson had 15 -- eight of which came in the final 3:47 of the first half after Gadson picked up his third foul -- and Penn pitched in 12.

Walker and Erik Etherly both finished with 14 to lead the Greyhounds.

Jones hit a 3 with 1:45 left to break a 75-75 tie but Loyola answered with four straight points to go back up one.

Etherly converted a layup and after Penn couldn’t knock down an open 3 from the right corner, Dylon Cormier flipped in a layup to give the Greyhounds a 79-78 advantage with 52 seconds left.

Gadson got the ball in the high post on the ensuing possession against the smaller Justin Drummond and drove to the basket, making the shot and drawing the foul.

The game featured 11 ties and 12 lead changes.
“This was a big confidence builder for us,” Penn said. “That’s exactly what we need going into tournament play next week.”

Rider led 46-42 at halftime after Thompson brought the sellout crowd to its feet with a steal and dunk to cap a fast-paced 20 minutes.

Both shot over 50 percent as the lead changed hands 11 times.

Loyola came out in a full-court press which the Broncs handled relatively well after burning an early timeout when they couldn’t get the ball inbounds. Rider committed just five first-half turnovers.

“They are the hardest playing team in the league in my opinion,” Dempsey said. “We haven’t played as hard as we need to play to be the type of team we need to be. We beat them to 50-50 balls and we beat them on the glass.”

Gadson kept Rider close by opening 4 of 4 from the field (three 3s) and 7 of 7 from the foul line before he finally missed from the free throw line.

“We have it,” Dempsey said. “We can erase a lot of bad over the next several games if we continue to fight.”

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home