By Sean Kennedy
Rider 89, Pennsylvania 88
Anthony Myles didn’t start for Rider after violating team rules, but he stepped up when his team needed him most, sinking a three-pointer for the Broncs while down two in the final minute for what turned out to be the the game-winning basket. Penn’s Miles Jackson-Cartwright tallied 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists on the day, but couldn’t get his shot in the lane to fall on the ensuing possession. Then following two missed free throws by Rider, Fran Dougherty, who scored 18 points on 8-10 shooting, had his only turnover of the game on the Quakers’ final possession and the losing streak continued for Penn.
A great offensive effort by Penn had them out to as large as a 14-point lead in the second half. In addition to Jackson-Cartwright and Dougherty, sophomore Julian Harrell stepped up with a career-high 23 points (previous high was 7) on 8-10 shooting, including a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc. However, the Quakers were absolutely dominated on the glass by a 43-26 margin, including an unacceptable 21 offensive rebounds for the Broncs. Penn was missing the big presence of Darien Nelson-Henry down low, still out with a concussion, but they still need to do a better job than that on the boards. Despite the loss, it was at least encouraging that the Quakers were able to get things going offensively in this contest. They’ll have another tough road game against George Mason Thursday.
Buffalo 55, Drexel 52
Drexel showed plenty of rust coming out of the holiday break, as ice-cold shooting doomed the Dragons in an upset defeat to Buffalo. Drexel shot an abysmal 19-58 from the field, including 1-14 from behind the arc. Chris Fouch was the poster-boy for the Dragons’ ineffectiveness, finishing 6-21 and 0-8 from three, while failing to record a single rebound, assist, steal, or block.
Buffalo star Javon McCrea was the lone player on the floor seemingly capable of finding the basket, finishing with a game-high 20 points on 8-13 shooting. McCrea scored 16 of his points in the second half, as the Bulls erased the slim lead of the Dragons by deciding to make a basket here and there. Not a great way for Drexel to end 2013, but hopefully they can just chalk it up to an off-shooting night; it wasn’t as though they were taking bad shots and those guys are better shooters than what they showed on the afternoon. Southern Miss awaits Friday in what will be Drexel’s final non-Conference game of the season.
Saint Joseph’s 73, Boston 67
The good times kept rolling for the Hawks Sunday night, as they bounced back from an 11-point second half deficit to tame the Terriers and earn themselves a three-game winning streak for the first time this season. Ronald Roberts, Jr. led the way for the Hawks with 19 points and 8 rebounds, while Chris Wilson tied a career-high with 19 points as well. However, it was 7 points from DeAndre Bembry,including a key steal and an offensive rebound by the freshman, during a crucial St. Joe’s 12-0 run in the second half that ultimately proved the difference in the contest.
Boston received a game-high 21 points and 7 assists from Maurice Watson, Jr., but couldn’t make headway in the final minutes as the Hawks iced the game at the free throw line, shooting 20-25 from the charity stripe on the afternoon. With the team playing well and different guys stepping up in key moments each night, the Hawks are surely glad to get right back out there against Binghamton on Tuesday.