Rider University’s basketball team beat the University of Southern California 77-57 last night in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, the second year in a row the New Jersey school has had an early season win against an opponent from a major conference.
Justin Robinson, a senior guard from London, scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Broncs, who entered the game in Los Angeles as 11-point underdogs, according to oddsmakers.
Robinson hit nine of 10 shots, including all five of his 3-point attempts, as Rider improved to 2-1. The Lawrenceville, New Jersey, school started last season with a 14-point win at then-No. 18 ranked Mississippi State.
Rider coach Tommy Dempsey said his senior class now has wins over schools from the Big East, Southeastern, Big Ten and Pacific 10 conferences.
“I think it was about 26 years between those four and the last big Rider win in the early 1980s,” Dempsey said in comments on the school’s website. “It’s a tough group of kids who have won a lot of big games, and when they come into these environments they expect to win.”
USC trailed throughout the game, including 67-42 at one point, and fell to 2-1 on the season.
The Trojans are eligible for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament this season after being banned from the postseason last year for rules violations involving former player O.J. Mayo. The program lost one scholarship each of the past two seasons.