LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – Novar Gadson scored 20 points in the first half, but Loyola University Maryland held him without a point until 33 seconds were left in the second half, but his leanind layup and ensuing free throw put Rider University in front for good in an 83-79 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory on Friday night.
Dylon Cormier gave the Greyhounds (20-8 overall, 12-5 MAAC) a 79-78 lead with a twisting layup 52 ticks before the end of regulation.
Gadson’s got the ball in the paint, dribbled and leaned in to score for Rider (12-18, 9-8). He was fouled and made the free throw to make it an 81-79 lead for the Broncs.
Loyola missed a three on its offensive end, and Brandon Penn was fouled after grabbing the defensive rebound. He made both free throws with 11 seconds left to ice the game.
Gadson scored 20 points in the first half, making 5-of-5 field goals, all three of his 3-point attempts, and 7-of-8 from the foul line to help the Broncs go up 46-42 at the break. He finished with a game-high 23 points, leading five Rider players in double figures.
The Greyhounds pulled within two on a Robert Olson driving jumper 4:45 into the second half, but Rider used a 12-2 run to pull ahead 63-53 on a fast-break Jonathan Thompson layup at 12:13.
Loyola did not allow another Rider basket, however, for the next three-plus minutes, using a 10-0 run of its own, behind five Erik Etherly points, to tie the game on a pair of Shane Walker free throws with 9:17 on the clock.
The Greyhounds went up by five minutes later when R.J.Williams drove and scored with 6:01 on the clock, posting a 72-67 advantage for Loyola.
Rider held Loyola without a point for the nearly four minutes, going ahead by three when Penn made two free throws on consecutivetrips down the court.
Cormier broke the scoring slump for Loyola, going into the lane to score at 2:08. He was fouled and hit the free throw to tie the game at 75-75.
Jeff Jones, who picked up the scoring slack for Rider in the second half, tallying all 16 of his points after the break, knocked down a three from the top of the perimeter with 1:45 left, pushing Rider in front by three.
Etherly made a layup on Loyola’s next trip down the court, and Cormier then gave the Greyhounds the lead before the final sequence.
Five Loyola players scored 11 or more, led by 14 each from Etherly and Walker. Justin Drummond added 13, and Williams matched his career-high with 11.
Loyola is back in action to close the regular-season with a 4 o’clock game at Manhattan College on Sunday, February 26.