Robinson’s Big Game Leads Rider Men’s Basketball Over Delaware, 95-86, in BracketBusters
February 19, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -- Defense has been the staple of the University of Delaware men’s basketball team this season. But the Blue Hens could not keep up with Rider guard Justin Robinson on Saturday, as the Broncs senior scored a career-high 31 points to lead Rider to a 95-86 victory in a BracketBusters contest Saturday at Alumni Gym.
Robinson went 6 of 7 from three-point range and 13 of 14 from the foul line while also handing out a game-high five assists to lead Rider (20-9) to its 20th win of the season.
Mike Ringgold added 19 points and a team-leading nine rebounds while Danny Stewart contributed 12 points for the Broncs. Brandon Penn contributed 11 points while Novar Gadson had 10 as Rider won its fourth consecutive game over Delaware and its eighth straight over the Blue Hens in Lawrenceville.
Devon Saddler (at right) had another big game for the Blue Hens by pouring in a season-high 27 points, while his output is tied for UD single game freshman record along with Ken Luck, who also scored 27 against Rider on March 2, 1979. Additionally Saddler has now scored 352 points this season, setting a new school single-season freshman mark that was previously held by Alphonso Dawson.
Jawan Carter scored 25 points, his 10th 20-point game of the season, for the Blue Hens, who had won four of five road games but fell to 12-15 on the year. Jamelle Hagins posted his third double-double of the year by contributing 14 points and a game-best 11 rebounds. Brian Johnson added eight points and six assists while not turning the ball over in a solid performance off the bench and the senior is now just 14 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
Rider shot a blistering 55.6 percent during the second half including a 6 of 9 performance from three-point range, and the Broncs also went 17 of 21 from the foul line to put up 53 points during the period. Rider entered the game ranked 14th in Division I in three-point percentage while the Blue Hens were 10th in three-point defense, but the Broncs won that battle by finishing 12 of 22 from behind the arc.
The Blue Hens shot a respectable 45.0 percent for the game, connected on a season-high 11 three-pointers and went 21 of 26 from the foul line en route to posting their highest point total of the season. However Delaware could not slow down the Broncs, whose 95 points are the most allowed by UD since giving up 97 to eighth-ranked Villanova on December 23, 2009.
“Our defense just wasn’t sharp tonight and their offense was clicking,” fifth-year Delaware head coach Monté Ross said. “We pride ourselves in our defensive effort but just didn’t get it done today. Rider hitting 12 three-pointers was the difference; we knew if we could limit their outside shooting we would have a good chance to win, but that just didn’t happen. Devon (Saddler) has been working hard on his outside shot, and is really making his presence felt on the court.”
Delaware jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a basket by Hagins and five straight points by Carter, and Carter drained another three-pointer at the 15:04 mark to give the Blue Hens a 14-6 advantage.
Saddler connected from behind the arc to increase the margin to 17-8 but Rider would hit its next six shots from the field, including the final two by Ringgold, to close within 21-20 at the 10:51 mark. However Delaware countered with an 8-1 spurt, as a follow dunk by Hagins gave UD a 28-21 edge with 8:08 left in the half.
The Blue Hen lead was still five when Kelvin McNeil converted a layup, but the Broncs answered with a 10-0 run to go up 38-33 on a dunk by Penn with four minutes remaining and led the rest of the way. Two free throws by Saddler cut UD’s deficit to four points before a free throw by Jonathon Thompson with 0.8 seconds on the clock gave Rider a 42-37 halftime advantage.
Delaware opened the second half with four straight points to pull within one, and a basket by Carter made it a 46-43 game with 15:24 remaining. But the Broncs would use a 10-3 run to go ahead 56-46 on a Stewart layup with 12:08 to play.
A three-pointer by Saddler cut the Rider margin to 58-53 but the Broncs would not relinquish the advantage, and Anthony Myles connected from behind the arc to again make it a 10-point game at 68-58 with 8:53 to play.
Delaware pulled to within seven but a three-pointer by Robinson, a free throw by Ringgold and two foul shots by Robinson gave the Broncs a 76-63 cushion at the 6:25 mark.
After the Blue Hens scored the next four points to get back within single digits Robinson scored the game’s next seven points to make it an 83-67 game with 4:06 left, and Delaware would not threaten from there.
UD returns home Wednesday to host Towson at 7 p.m. in the Blue Hens’ final home game of the season.