Daniel Stewart recorded 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Lindsey Nurideen hit late free throws to help Rider beat Monmouth 65-62.
Trailing 37-22 at halftime, Monmouth (1-2) opened the second half on an 11-0 run — seven points by Dion Nesmith — to close the gap to 37-33.
Rider (2-1) responded with a 13-6 run of its own to push the lead to 50-39, but Monmouth answered right back.
Trailing 50-39 with 10 minutes remaining, the Hawks used a 23-12 run to tie the game at 62. Marcus Ware capped the run with a layup.
Lindsey, fouled by Nesmith, hit two free throws with 54 seconds left to give Rider the 64-62 lead.
Following a missed 3-pointer by Monmouth's Jesse Steele, Lindsey hit one free throw with 18 seconds left to extend the lead 65-62.
Andrew Nicholas missed a desperation shot with three seconds left.