By Thomas Albano
On Nov. 12, Rider (0-1) traveled to Bethlehem, Pa., to take on Lehigh (1-1) in the first game of the regular season, which ended in a 92-78 defeat. A slow start by the Broncs proved to be too much to overcome.
It was a struggle in the first half for the Broncs, as Lehigh opened the game on an 18-2 run. The Broncs pulled back after a three-pointer by freshman guard Jimmie Taylor, which started an 8-0 run for Rider. The only Bronc who could find the basket in the first half was senior forward Danny Stewart, who accounted for 12 of Rider’s first-half points. At the end of the half, Lehigh had a 44-25 lead.
Rider started to find its footing at the start of the second half, going on an 18-11 run, cutting the lead to 12 points. However, the Broncs weren’t able to take advantage of the opportunities that came their way. Lehigh’s freshman guard Austin Price led the team with 21 points, shooting 5-10 from behind the three-point line. Lehigh as a team shot 14-23 from beyond the arc. Sophomore forward Jesse Chuku finished the game with 18 points and eight rebounds, shooting 6-9 from the field. Lehigh hasn’t lost a home opener since 1994.
Stewart finished the game with a team-leading 24 points, four rebounds and two assists. He was 10-10 from the free throw line. Senior guard Anthony Myles added 12 points, while Taylor in his Rider debut scored 11. Senior guard Tommy Pereria and junior center Junior Fortunat added 10 points each.
Rider will continue its road trip — the next being on Nov. 17, when it travels to West Lafayette, Ind., for a game against Purdue.