PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Senior center Hamad Nivins scored 25 points and tied his career high with 13 rebounds in leading St. Joseph's to a 69-57 victory over Rider in the season's opener for both teams.
Nivins hit on 9 of 11 shots in the game, while the Hawks connected on 16 of 27 from the field in the second half. Darrin Govens added 17 points for St. Joseph's, which took a 17-2 edge in the all-time series.
Ryan Thompson had 19 points and Mike Ringgold 10 points for the Broncs.
The score was tied 30 at halftime, but Nivins scored 11 points during a 21-7 run for a 51-37 Hawk lead with 13:43 left to play.
The lead reached 58-42 with 10:56 to play, but Rider rallied behind Thompson and closed the gap to 63-55 with 3:23 left. However, Idris Hilliard and Nivins each made layups to clinch the victory.
The game was the first ever for St. Joseph's at the Wachovia Center. The team's campus arena is being remodeled, and the Hawks will play their remaining 13 home games at the Palestra.
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