Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rider's Thompson Steps Up in Win

ALBANY, N.Y. - Rider coach Tommy Dempsey did some heavy late-season campaigning for his junior guard Ryan Thompson to be the conference's Player of the Year.

Thompson didn't win it, losing out to Siena's Kenny Hasbrouck.

But, in the Broncs' 67-58 victory over Saint Peter's here in Saturday's "Late Night With the MAAC" game, the 6-foot-6 Thompson made his own case.

The junior guard, who made game-winning shots in the last 10 seconds of four games this year, did enough damage throughout against the Peacocks to make the final seconds inconsequential on this night.

Thompson finished with a career-high 30 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor and 10-of-12 from the foul line while also racking up four steals.

His play was consistent throughout with 16 points in the first half and 14 in the second.

When his team fell behind, 48-46, with 11:15 remaining, Thompson answered with an old-fashioned three-point play, a 16-foot jumper and, later, two free throws. The one-man run gave the winners a 53-48 edge with 7:32 remaining and St. Pete's never closer than two again.

Thompson made sure of that by adding six of the winners' final nine points in the final three minutes.

Ryan Bacon, a 6-7 sophomore forward, gave an indication of big things to come for Saint Peter's with an 18-point, 11-rebound effort.

The Broncs, now 19-11 overall, advance to Sunday's semifinal round against Niagara.

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