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The Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog is back and improved. We'll keep you updated on everything you need to know about Rider and Princeton hoops as well as the college basketball landscape.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rider-Manhattan; catching up

Greetings from Draddy Gym, where the Broncs and Jaspers are about 45 minutes from tip time. It's a big game for both teams, who are jostling for position in the standings as we head down the stretch.

We're a bit behind on some of the MAAC goings on because I've been shuttling back and forth from Massachusetts dealing with some family issues. With that in mind, the blogging for the next couple of weeks might not be very consistent. Apologies in advance for any potential prolonged absences. At the very least, I'll check in when I can and post the PMI and hopefully any breaking news I can bring you.

... But back to today ...

Rider can clinch third place with a win, since the Broncs would then lead the Jaspers and Fairfield by three games in the loss column, and have the tiebreaker in their favor by virtue of their win over Siena. That win, by the way, looks even bigger when you consider the ramifications it has regarding the standings: Unless Siena loses again, Rider will win the tiebreaker against every team in the league, and that could be the difference between a fourth place finish that would result in playing Siena in the MAAC semifinals and a third-place finish that would position them on the opposite side of the bracket.

The Jaspers have won three of four, with their lone loss in February coming to Siena in Albany Friday. The last time they played here at Draddy, they held Iona to 11 points in the second half and 39 overall in one of their biggest statement victories under Barry Rohrssen.

Rider is coming off an embarrassing home loss to Saint Peter's in one of the Broncs' worst performances of the year.

Rider won the first matchup with Manhattan this year 76-73 in the MAAC opener for both teams Dec. 7 in Lawrenceville.

... Devon Austin has missed the last five games, reportedly because of a back injury, and is unlikely to play for the Jaspers. The Broncs are healthy with the exception of Lamar Johnson, who's with the team and walking around but out for the season with a knee injury.

... It's senior day, and Austin and Herve Banogle will be honored before the game.

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