Scott Rodgers' free throws were Drexel's only points in the last 2 minutes of regulation.
"We're up eight with [a little more than 1 minute remaining]," said disappointed Drexel coach Bruiser Flint, who did not make his players available after the game.
Listing the Dragons' errors, Flint added, "Missed foul shots, not doing what you're supposed to do, playing with no discipline at the end of the game.
"Give [the Broncs] credit; they made the plays they needed to make. They took the game from us."
Rodgers put the Dragons (2-2) ahead, 75-67, with 1:05 remaining. Harris Mansell, a 6-3 sophomore from Cheltenham High, hit a three-pointer for Rider, then 6-10 junior Jason Thompson sank two free throws.
With Drexel leading, 75-72, Bashir Mason (career-high 26 points) missed a foul shot with 32 seconds left.
Following a timeout, Mansell's three-point attempt hit the front of the rim. Terrance Mouton swatted the ball to freshman Ryan Thompson on the left wing. Thompson, Jason's younger brother and last season's Burlington County (N.J.) Player of the Year at Lenape High, launched a three that nestled in the net with only 6 seconds to go. The crowd of 1,528 in quaint Alumni Gym exploded in joy.
"I was open, so I took the shot," Thompson said. "I thought, 'I hope it goes in.' "
Mason and Tramayne Hawthorne missed shots before the buzzer.
Jason Thompson (24 points, 14-for-17 free throws) and Mouton opened the overtime scoring and Rider never trailed. Ryan Thompson (16 points) added two more field goals and two throws in OT.
"We did the things that it takes to win in a tight battle against a really good team," said Tommy Dempsey, Rider's second-year coach. "This, to me, was a gut check to see where we really were. We scored a lot of points against a great defense."
In three previous games, Drexel opponents had averaged only 50.3 points.
Dominick Mejia, Drexel's leading returning scorer, was held to only two points in 22 minutes (1-for-5 on field goal attempts). Mejia, averaging 11.3 points this season, didn't score until 7:42 remained in the second half.
"He wasn't ready to play," Flint said. "It seemed like he was a step behind."
Chaz Crawford and Frank Elegar scored 13 points each for Drexel. Senior Matt Stevenson contributed seven points off the bench and grabbed two key rebounds.
The game was tied six times in the second half. Drexel shot 41.1 percent for the game, while Rider shot 51.9. The Broncs made 53.3 percent of their threes, compared with 38.1 for the Dragons.
Rider's win ties the series record at 26-26. Drexel won last season's meeting, 72-60.
Drexel's December schedule includes Saint Joseph's, Villanova, Syracuse, Temple and George Mason.
"We're not ready to win right now," Flint said. "Expectations are a little too high for us." *
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