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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rider 88, FAMU 73

Tommy Dempsey paced the sideline Tuesday morning, hoping someone would step up.

Having lost its last two games by a combined 62 points, yesterday’s game against winless Florida A&M in the Cancun Challenge wasn’t a game Rider could have afforded to lose.

The Broncs, though, lacked energy or any semblance of efficiency in the early going. They fell into a 12-point hole, and to make matters worse, Ryan Thompson emerged from a collision with a contusion on his right knee.

That’s when Justin Robinson started to take over.

With Thompson hobbling and Mike Ringgold ineffective, the junior guard helped awaken a team that had been sleepwalking, leading the Broncs to an 88-73 win and a date with Sam Houston State today in the Mayan bracket title game.

“We looked like a team that had been blown out in our last two games,” Dempsey said of the Broncs’ sloppy first half. “We looked a little unsure of ourselves, but we played a good end of the first half, which gave us a little more momentum going into the second half.”

With Robinson leading the way, Rider cut the Rattlers’ lead to 39-37 at the break, then pulled away early in the second half.

Thompson, still in an early-season funk, scored only 13 points on 3-for-7 shooting. Ringgold ended up with 17 points and six rebounds, but played poorly in the first half and started the second half on the bench.

Robinson, though, bailed the Broncs out with a season-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He made two of three 3-pointers and helped spark the Broncs in transition with four steals.

“He was the key today,” Dempsey said. “Mike didn’t have it going for a while. He had an overall solid game, but Ryan banged the knee and was hobbled throughout the first half. So Ryan’s having a hard go, Mike’s having a hard go, and you’re thinking ‘someone has to step forward to make sure this doesn’t turn into one of those bad games.”


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