PHILADELPHIA — Rider came to the City of Brotherly Love looking for a
bounce-back performance and a signature road win early in the season.
It got both.
Danny Stewart scored 21 points, Nurideen Lindsey
came to life the second half and the Broncs slipped past Drexel, 75-66,
Saturday afternoon at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
“We’re a resilient group,” said Lindsey, who finished with 12
points, including a stretch of nine straight late in the second half
that helped hold off the Dragons. “The team has confidence and faith in
each other. We’re an extremely tough team and we don’t let things
determine how our next situation is going to be.”
Coach Kevin Baggett challenged his team in practice after what he
felt was a lackluster performance in a home loss to La Salle.
Trailing 46-37, the Broncs erased the deficit with a 14-0 run,
punctuated by a pair of 3-pointers from Zedric Sadler and Anthony Myles.
“We just played harder,” said guard Jon Thompson, who chipped in 14
points. “We played more defense, forced turnovers and sped the game
“We just turned it over to them,” said Drexel coach Bruiser Flint,
who watched his team cough it up 16 times. “That’s the way we’ve played
all year. We have periods of the game where we are absolutely awful and
it becomes a closer game than it should be.”
Leading 53-51, Lindsey and Damion Lee went into an old Western-style
duel, each scoring their respective teams’ next nine points.
Lindsey’s jumper with 2:33 remaining put Rider (5-4) in front 62-60.
That’s where the Broncs stayed, despite the best efforts of Lee, who
finished with 28 points, scoring 13 of the Dragons’ final 15.
“I don’t necessarily look to score the basketball early in games,”
Lindsey said when asked if there is anything he can do to get going
sooner. “I have confidence in guys on my team so I try to make plays for
my teammates to the best of my ability. Defenses aren’t just going to
let me get going.”
Stewart, who has a knack for playing well when he comes home to
Philadelphia, made four free throws (7 of 7 for the game) and Thompson
hit two in the final minute, helping secure the victory.
“It’s always fun to have family and friend come see you play,”
Stewart said. “I just try to play hard all the time. It was a good team
effort to come out and get a win. We started slow at the La Salle game,
so we had to come out and get a win by any means possible.”
Derrick Thomas finished with 13 points for the Dragons (2-5), who are
missing leading scorer Chris Fouch (broken ankle), and Frantz Massenat
Massenat, the Ewing native and Trenton Catholic product, burned the hometown team for 21 points a year ago.
That wasn’t going to happen again.
“(Frantz) and Lee are their two best players without Fouch,” Baggett
said. “When he’s facilitating the ball, for the most part we want to get
the ball out of his hands and make some other guys beat us. To be able
to keep Frantz where he was gave us a chance to win this game.”
NOTES: Rider came into the game averaging a shade over 17 turnovers
per game but limited itself to 12 Saturday. … Baggett changed his
starting lineup for the first time this season, inserting Dera Nd-Ezuma
in place of Junior Fortunat. Nd-Ezuma didn’t score and fouled out, but
Fortunat finished with eight points in 20 minutes. … Drexel jumped out
to a 9-2 lead and held a 31-30 advantage at halftime. … The Broncs open
MAAC play Friday night at Siena.