By Jillian Shutt
The men’s basketball team took care of business on its home court in its past two games. On Saturday, Rider defeated Binghamton 58-50, and on Monday, the Broncs beat a solid St. Joseph’s squad, 81-73.
The Binghamton game was a close match. It started off slow for the Broncs; it seemed that they could not make a shot. Finally, their offense began to click, and they started to pull it together.
The Broncs came from behind with the help of senior Ryan Thompson. He had an outstanding game against the Bearcats, scoring a total of 21 points, 12 of them in the last five minutes of the game.
“Once it starts getting towards the end of the game, my team looks at me to step up and start making plays, and that’s what I did,” Thompson said.
Junior Jhamar Youngblood also had an impressive game, coming off the bench and scoring 10 points in 21 minutes.
Although their offense had a slow start, the defensive side was phenomenal. Rider held Binghamton to only 50 points. Sophomore Jermaine Jackson helped the team by taking four charges. Another important player for the defensive side was sophomore Novar Gadson with 10 rebounds.
“We did not have the best game against Binghamton, but we still got the win,” said Thompson.
The Broncs had an impressive win against St. Joseph’s, increasing their home record to 3-0 for the season. Rider fought hard to come away with this victory.
“The St. Joe’s game was great in front of the big crowd,” Thompson said. “Our goal is to try and win all our games here at the Zoo this year.”
At halftime the Broncs led by only three points. But when they came back out on the court for the second half, the team kept increasing the lead. When the game clock was winding down, the Hawks were forced to foul so they could try to make a comeback. But this never happened, and the Broncs were able to add another “W” to their record.
Junior Justin Robinson was a big part of this victory for the Broncs. He had an outstanding game, scoring 21 points, grabbing five rebounds and three steals, while making all five of his free-throws.
Junior Mike Ringgold also had an impressive night, tallying 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists. The contributions from these players really made a difference.
It has been almost 30 years since Rider last defeated St. Joseph’s.
Before the game, Thompson said, “We are very excited to play St. Joe’s tonight. We have a lot of Philly guys on the team, and they are excited to play. Also, this is a televised game, and we are going to have a great atmosphere to compete in.”
In the last 16 days, the Broncs have played six games in four cities and two countries.
According to Thompson, the team’s goals for the year are to win the MAAC championship and go to the NCAA tournament.
Rider now enters MAAC play with a game against Marist on Dec. 6 at Alumni Gym. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.