Rider's 6-foot-8 Devine Eke blocked a layup attempt by Isaiah Reese in the final second to preserve the Broncs' 83-82 victory over Canisius in Lawrenceville, N.J.
By winning Rider took over sole possession of first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men's basketball standings and is assured of at least a final top two finish in the conference regular season.
Stellar performances by Jermaine Crumpton and Reese weren't enough to give the Golden Griffins the win in the biggest late-season MAAC game in their recent history.
Crumpton, a senior from Niagara Falls, had 24 points, pushing him over the 1,500 mark for his career at Canisius. Reese, a sophomore from Miami, had 23 along with 12 rebounds.
Rider's largest lead was 28-19 with 9:22 left in the first half but Canisius closed the margin to 47-43 at halftime.
The Griffs led by as many as five points, 54-49, after a layup by freshman Takal Molson with 16:03 to play in the second. The last lead for Canisius was 69-68 with 6:27 after a three by Reese. Jordan Allen hit a three on the other end to put Rider in front and the Broncos held the upper hand the rest of the way.
The last basket of the game was a three by Reese with 1:13 to go, drawing the Griffs to within one, 83-82.
Canisius has a game at Niagara on Wednesday night and will be home to Marist on Sunday afternoon before the MAAC Tournament the following week in Albany. Rider will play at Monmouth on Thursday and close its regular season against Iona at home next Sunday afternoon.
Manhattan 82, Niagara 72: The Purple Eagles missed a chance to take sole possession of the third place with the loss to the Jaspers in Riverdale. Niagara played without its second-leading scorer Matt Scott (19.5) who missed the game because of an sprained ankle suffered in Friday night's win at Iona.
Manhattan led for most of the game. It was 43-33 at halftime, and the Jaspers had their largest lead, 14 points, with 9:08 to play.
Kahlil Dukes had 20 points for Niagara. Marvin Prochet had 17. The Purple Eagles made only 5 of 20 three-point attempts and shot 41.5 percent overall. Manhattan made 10 of 19 from outside the arc. Rich Williams led the Jaspers with 21 points. Zane Waterman had 16.
Besides Canisius, Niagara has a home game against Marist on Friday night left on its schedule.
Rider 62, Canisius 54: The Griffs (9-18, 7-9 MAAC) cut what had been a 20-point deficit to foul with five minutes to play, but that was it on Senior Day at the Koessler Athletic Center.
Four Canisius seniors Selaiah Serrete, Margret Haldanadrottir, Sarah Cooley and Abby Schwenk were honored as they played their final home game.
Sara Hinriksdottir led Canisius with 19 points. Halddanardottir had 17 and Serrette 10.
Niagara 69, Rider 61: Victoria Rampado, one of three Niagara seniors honors on Senior Day Sunday, scored 27 points to lead the Purple Eagles (11-16, 8-8 MAAC) at the Gallagher Center. Rampado also broke the Niagara career scoring record, breaking the mark of 1,753 by Eva Cunningham. Rampado now has 1,756.
A 6-0 run in the third quarter sent Niagara into the lead for good.
Besides Rampado, Niagara's other seniors are Kaylee Stroemple and Jamie Sherburne.
George Mason 78, St. Bonaventure 63: Natalie Butler of the Patriots scored 23 points and added 24 rebounds for her 27th consecutive double-double in the victory over the Bonnies.
Arielle Harvey led Bona with 16 points despite playing only 23 minutes because of early foul trouble. Mariah Ruff had 15 points and seven assists while Mckenna Maycock had 15 points all on three-point shots. Ruff's assists brought her career total to 414, one less than the Bona record.
Penn State, the No. 1 ranked team in the nation with a lineup that included six top-ten ranked individuals, thoroughly dominated the University at Buffalo, 55-0, before 6,431 in Rec Hall in University Park, Pa.
The Nittany Lions won eight of the 10 matches by fall or major decision. The exceptions were a forfeit at 125 pounds and a decision at 133.
UB finished the regular season with a 5-12 dual record and now will prepare for the Mid-American Conference Championships on March 3 in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Swimming and diving
St. Bonaventure freshman Anhelina "Lina" Kutsko was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the Atlantic 10 women's swimming and diving championships. Kutsko swam to four gold medals and a fifth medal in the meet at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio>
Kutsko won the 50 freestyle (22.79), 100 butterfly (53.61) 100 freestyle (49.62) and swam on Bona's winning 400 medley relay and its 400 freestyle relay which finished second.
As a team Bona finished fifth with 420 points. Duquesne won with 567.
On the men's side freshman Tjaard Krusch was named the meet's outstanding rookie performer. A fourth in the 200 backstroke was his best result in the meet. Bona finished seventh in the team scoring with 343.5 points. George Washington won with 689.
Travis Wright of Canisius won the 3-meter diving, his sixth career conference championship, on the final day of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference meet at the Burt Flickinger Athletics Center. Wright, a senior from Derby, won in a MAAC record 323.20. Previously he won the 1-meter competition.
Senior Rebecca Anthone (Clarence) was second in the 100 freestyle.
The Canisius men and women each finished fourth in the team scoring.