The Wagner Seahawks made the short trip from Staten Island to New Jersey to take on the Rider Broncs on Tuesday night. Despite being picked to finish third in the MAAC preseason coaches poll, the Broncs would enter tonights game in search of just their second win of the season. The Broncs are just 1-7 on the season and 0-2 in MAAC Play. Wagner entered Alumni gym with an impressive 4-2 record including a four-game winning streak. The Seahawks who were picked to finish 6th in the NEC preseason coaches poll have only lost to BIG EAST programs this season in St. Johns and Seton Hall.
The Broncs came out on fire shooting just under 60% in the opening 10 minutes lead by Junior Forward Xavier Lundy who contributed 10 of his game high 22 points in the first half. The Seahawks would keep it close, never trailing by more than 5 points in the early going. Wagner would eventually pull even thanks to the hard nose efforts of Junior Guard Michael Carey who started the rally by completing a 3-point play after corralling an offensive rebound down low. He followed it up with another offensive board and put back on the ensuing possession to tie the game at 22 at the 9:32 mark.
Both teams would cool off trading misses for the next 3-plus minutes until Rider's Kahlil Thomas would end the drought with a layup with 6:01 left. Both teams would continue to jocky for the lead until a Japhet Kadji 3-pointer would put Wagner up 33-32. The Seahawks would end the half on a 6-0 run to take a 37-32 lead into the locker room. The broncs had a wide open look at three as time expired but Zedric Sadler's hoist hit back iron.
Rider would take their first lead of the second half on a Kealen Ives three pointer with just under 16 minutes to go. A Jimmie Taylor three-pointer briefly extended the lead to 43-39 until Kadji answered with a three of his own on the following Wagner possession.
Rider would go on a mini run capped by a possession in which the Broncs snagged 3 offensive rebounds ultimately leading to a foul on Lundy who made both free throws to put Rider up 49-44. Again the lead was short lived as Henry Brooks converted a a layup followed by a Dwaune Anderson 3-point play to tie that game at 49 with just under 9:00 to go.
It was a back and forth affair all the way until the final minute when Dwaun Anderson hit a big time contested jumper just inside the 3-point arc to give the Seahawks a 63-60 lead. Lundy would answer with a layup with 43.7 seconds remaining followed by a Valentine steal with 19 seconds left. The steal would lead to a Lundy bucket in transition to give the Broncs their first lead in over 8 minutes (64-63) with only 6 seconds remaining on the game clock. On the ensuing inbound Corey Henson missed a three point shot off the back iron but Dwaun Anderson skied above everyone to to slam the rebound home with authority as time expired for a dramatic 65-64 walk off win in NJ.
Lundy lead the broncs with 22 points and 7 boards on 8-of-14 shooting and a perfect 6-for-6 at the line. Taylor was also in double figures for the Broncs with 11 points on the night. The Seahawks had a balanced attack with four players in double figures lead by starters Anderson, Henson and Carey with 12, 13 & 11 points respectively. Kadji also had a great game off the bench for Wagner with 11 points and 4 rebounds including 3-for-5 from downtown. The Seahawks improve to 5-2 and extend their win streak to 5. The Broncs on the other hand continue to struggle dropping to 1-8 on the season. Both teams are back in action this weekend as Rider travels to South Carolina on Saturday to take on The College of Charleston while Wagner is back in NJ to take on their second consecutive MAAC opponent when they face Monmouth in Long Branch on Sunday.