LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — Dimencio Vaughn led six Rider players in double figures with 19 points, and the Broncs broke open a two-point game at the half by shooting 58 percent in the second stanza on the way to an 89-69 win over shorthanded Bucknell on Tuesday night at Alumni Gym. Bruce Moore scored a career-high 20 points, Avi Toomer added 18, and Jimmy Sotos handed out 10 assists for the Bison.
Rider, the preseason No. 2 pick in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, shot 52.5 percent overall in its 2019-20 home opener and improved to 5-2 on the season. Tyere Marshall, who had 28 points and 20 rebounds against Massachusetts earlier in the season, had 14 and 13 in this one. Stevie Jordan, Wily Nunez Jr. and Frederick Scott also had 14 points and Christian Ings 10.
Moore hit 12 of 14 from the free-throw line — both career highs — and hit the 20-point mark for the first time in his career. Toomer went 4-for-5 from the 3-point arc on the way to his 18. Andrew Funk just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Sotos recorded double-digit assists for the third time in his career.
The Bison fell to 3-7 on the season with Albany coming to Sojka Pavilion on Saturday for the final game of the first semester.
Rider beat the first-half buzzer with a 3-point play to go up 37-35 at intermission, and then the Broncs logged the first six of the second half to take their largest lead of eight points.
Bucknell was within seven after a Kahliel Spear layup with 13:39 to go, but Rider stretched it out with a 15-1 run over a four-minute span. Marshall started the surge with a 3-point play, and Jordan and Vaughn added 3-pointers. The latter gave the Broncs a 67-48 advantage with 9:23 to go.
The Bison cut a 21-point deficit to 11 with a 10-0 run, ignited by an Alex Timmerman 3-pointer. Funk’s free throw brought the Bison within 75-64 with 4:20 still to play, but Rider held Bucknell to only one more field goal and ran the margin back out to 23 with a 14-2 run.
Bucknell led by as many as six and trailed by as many as five in a fast-paced first half. The Bison started the night 6-for-10 from the field and led 17-11 after a Xander Rice 3-pointer at the 12:25 mark.
But after the hot start, Bucknell endured a 2-for-12 stretch, and Rider outscored the Bison 15-4 over a six-minute span. Later the Broncs led 34-29 after Marshall’s lone field goal of the half, but back-to-back threes from Funk and Toomer put the Bison back in front.
Rider closed the half with a 3-point play from Ings with 1.9 seconds left, and the Broncs went to the locker room with a 37-35 lead.
All 11 healthy players saw action for Bucknell in the first half, as the Bison played without injured frontcourt men Paul Newman and John Meeks.
Freshmen Malachi Rhodes, who made his first career start, and Timmerman gave the Bison some good minutes in extended action, but both had to battle foul trouble throughout. Timmerman finished with seven points in 22 minutes, and Rhodes had two points and six rebounds in 14 minutes.
The Bison shot 40 percent overall and hit 7 of 20 from the 3-point arc. Bucknell was 18-for-25 from the foul line compared to Rider’s 20-for-26.
Next up for the Bison is a home game vs. Albany on Saturday at 7 p.m. It will be Community Night at Sojka Pavilion, with many local organizations recognized during the game.
Rider 89, Bucknell 69
at Rider University
Bruce Moore 4-9 12-14 20; Avi Toomer 5-11 4-4 18; Andrew Funk 4-10 1-2 10; Jimmy Sotos 1-8 0-0 2; Malachi Rhodes 1-4 0-0 2; Alex Timmerman 3-5 0-1 7; Kahliel Spear 2-3 1-4 5; Xander Rice 2-4 0-0 5; Walter Ellis 0-1 0-0 0; Jake van der Heijden 0-0 0-0 0; Ben Robertson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-55 18-25 69.
Dimenico Vaughn 8-11 2-2 19; Stevie Jordan 4-14 5-6 14; Frederick Scott 6-10 2-4 14; Tyrere Marshall 4-10 6-7 14; Christian Ings 4-6 1-2 10; Wily Nunez Jr., 4-7 2-3 14; Ajiri Ogemuno-Johnson 1-1 2-2 4; Allen Powell 0-0 0-0 0; Khalil Turner 0-0 0-0 0; Tyrel Bladen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 31-59 20-26 89.
Halftime: Rider, 37-35. 3-point goals: Bucknell 7-20 (Toomer 4-5, Rice 1-2, Timmerman 1-2, Funk 1-4, Rhodes 0-1, Ellis 0-1, Sotos 0-5); Rider 7-17 (Nunez Jr. 4-6, Vaughn 1-2, Ings 1-2, Jordan 1-6, Scott 0-1). Fouled out: Timmerman. Rebounds: Bucknell 30 (Funk 9); Rider 34 (Marshall 13). Assists: Bucknell 12 (Sotos 10); Rider 18 (Jordan 5). Total fouls: Bucknell 19; Rider 17. Technicals: Bucknell-team. A: 1,403.