Senior Justin Robinson scored a career-high 31 points to lead Rider to victory over the University of Delaware in the Sears BracketBuster game.
Bud Focht

Justin Robinson scores a career-high 31 points

A group of 20 units can also be referred to as a 'score.'  To 'score' is also to cut a groove into a surface.

The Rider Broncs had their 'groove on' Saturday afternoon, scoring 95 points for their 20th win of the season.

Senior Justin Robinson scored a career-high 31 points to lead Rider to victory over the University of Delaware in the Sears BracketBuster game.

"I like the BracketBuster," said Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey. "I love it when you are on television and we want to be the type of program that is on television year in and year out. When it is not on television it still matters, to RPI, to the conference, seeding in postseason. It matters."

The victory gives Rider (20-9, 11-5 MAAC) its eighth 20-win season and the second in the last four years. "I am very proud of this group to get its 20th win," Dempsey said. "This is probably a group that not a lot of people expected to be a 20-win team. That is always a milestone that is hard to do. You have to have a really good year to win 20."

The Rider senior class now has 79 wins. "We've been a good program," Dempsey said. "This has been a great group that has a chance to get out of here averaging 20 wins a year. Not many people do that in college."

Rider led 76-67 before out-scoring Delaware 7-0, all seven points by Robinson, to take an 83-67 lead with 4:07 left to play.

Robinson, who also had five assists, did not make a two-point shot, with all his points coming from the foul line or from beyond the arc.  Robinson was a career-high 13 of 14 from the line and has now made 57 of his last 61 foul shots. "I've been struggling with my shot but today my teammates found me at some good spots to shoot from," said Robinson, who now has 1,427 career points, 11th most ever at Rider. "Mike (Ringgold) and Danny (Stewart) were playing well inside so that allowed me to get some shots."

Trailing 17-8, Rider out-scored Delaware 12-4, six points by senior Mike Ringgold, to cut the lead to 21-20 mid-way though the first half. Ringgold finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

"I just try to bring energy," said Ringgold, who now has 1,344 career points, 14th most ever at Rider, and 759 rebounds, seventh most ever at Rider.

"Mike is our heart and soul," Dempsey said. "He leads us emotionally. He has such an impact on our team dynamic. He raises the level of play of our entire group."

Freshman Danny Stewart added 12 points and three blocked shots.

Holding a 42-41 lead, Rider went on a 14-5 run, six points by junior Brandon Penn (Philadelphia, Pa./Paul Robeson), to take a 56-46 lead with 11:58 left to play. Penn finished with 11 points.

Delaware (12-15, 7-9 CAA) led 28-21 before the Broncs went on a 20-7 run, eight points by Robinson, to take a 41-35 lead, and Rider led 42-37 at the half.

Rider's first lead of the game was 34-33 with 5:22 left in the first half on a three-point field goal by junior Novar Gadson. Gadson finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

Delaware jumped out to a 14-6 lead, eight points by Jawan Carter. Carter finished with 25 points and Devon Saddler added 27 points and eight rebounds for the Blue Hens.

Rider freshman Anthony Myles added seven points, three rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes off the bench.

With the win, the Broncs have now won five of their last six games, eight of the last 10 and 14 of the last 18 games.

Last year Rider lost in overtime (92-89) at Hofstra in the BracketBuster game. Rider defeated UMBC in the 2009 BracketBuster and won at Cal State Northridge in 2008. Rider lost at Murray State in 2007 and at Northeastern in the 2006 BracketBuster, Rider's first.

Rider defeated Delaware 76-71 on November 17, 2007, the 60th and last time these two teams met. Rider has won 30 of the games in the series that began in 1969-70. Rider and Delaware were East Coast Conference rivals from 1974-75 to 1990-91. Rider is 9-4 against Delaware since the two teams moved on to different conferences. Rider has won seven of the last eight meetings with Delaware, including the last four.

Rider returns to MAAC play with a trip to Marist Friday. Rider is 12-4 on the road, including 7-1 at MAAC opponents. Rider won by 22 points at Marist last year and beat the Red Foxes by 14 points in Alumni Gym earlier this year. Rider has beaten Marist seven straight times.