Marist led by 11 points at two separate points in the second half, but the Red Foxes were unable to hold off Jonathan Thompson and Rider, as the Broncs won 67-63 Sunday afternoon in Rider’s Alumni Gymnasium.
The Red Foxes held a lead for a majority of the game, but a 16-5 run and key baskets by Thompson and Daniel Stewart propelled the Broncs’ comeback. Marist was 9-18 from the free throw line in the game.
“Honestly, Rider had a tough time guarding us,” Marist head coach Chuck Martin said. “We had everything we wanted, we were up 11, we had the ball inside, but when they foul you, and you don’t make free throws, they gain confidence.”
Early on, Marist used a 9-0 run on three straight three-pointers from Isaiah Morton, Manny Thomas and T.J. Curry to build its largest lead of the half at 29-20. Rider closed out the half on their own 8-2 run to pull the lead to three at 33-30 going into the locker rooms. 16 of Chavaughn Lewis’ 18 points came in the first half.
Marist then scored the first eight points of the second half and built the lead up to 11 again at 47-36. Rider started to chip away at the lead, and a huge dunk by Daniel Stewart pulled it to within four before the under-12 timeout. A Junior Fortunat basket after the timeout cut that lead in half at 49-47.
A lay-in by Dera Nd-Ezuma tied the game at 52 with 7:13 to play, the first tie since it was 20-20. The Broncs then took the lead at the 6:34 mark on an Anthony Myles jumper. Rider held the lead, with the exception of one possession following a T.J. Curry three, for the rest of the game. Marist had cut the lead to two in the final minute, but an Adam Kemp goaltending call gave Rider its final points of the game.
“Honestly, we out-played Rider,” Martin said. “We should have won the game, but the team that has composure is the team that wins. They had more composure than we did at the end.”
Lewis’ 18 points led the Red Foxes, and Adam Kemp recorded his third double-double in four games with 11 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, Marist was 10-23 from three-point range.
“We’re opportunistic,” Martin said. “If there are good threes, and our feet are set, we got guys who are capable of making them.”
For Rider, Stewart led with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Thompson and Myles added 13 points.
The Red Foxes will next host VMI in a non-conference matchup on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. Their next MAAC game will be at Siena on March 1.