Rider outlasts Marist to advance to MAAC championship
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)—Jason Thompson scored a game-high 32 points—including the 2000th of his career—and grabbed 18 rebounds in a 40-minute performance to lead Rider to a 76-71 victory in the semifinal round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament on Sunday night.
The second-seeded Broncs (23-9) advance to face top-seeded host Siena, which defeated Loyola 65-63, in Monday night’s championship game. Harris Mansell added 16 points, and Kamron Warner had 10 for Rider, which reached its second title game in four years.
Jay Gavin had 21 points for Marist. The sixth-seeded Red Foxes also got 18 from Ryan Schneider and 16 from Louie McCroskey. Marist hit 12 3-pointers in the loss, finishing the year 18-14.
Rider trailed 57-56 with 7:15 remaining when Matt Griffin hit a 3-pointer, and the Broncs didn’t give up the lead thereafter, though Marist tied it twice in the final minutes.
Thompson, the MAAC Player of the Year, converted a 3-point play to give Rider a 67-63 lead with 2:42 to go.
Marist pulled to within 74-70 with 12.2 seconds left on Ben Farmer’s 3-pointer, but the Broncs knocked down 7-of-7 free throws over the final 1:57 to clinch the win.
Thompson was 8-of-8 from the line.
Marist was up 39-32, its largest lead of the game, at halftime.