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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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rider trying to stay afloat in wacky MAAC against St. Peter's

Who: St. Peter’s (4-16, 3-6) at Rider (7-14, 4-5)

When: Thursday, Alumni Gymnasium, 7 p.m.,, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider def. Canisius, 89-65; St. Peter’s lost to Loyola, 65-54.

Background: At the halfway point of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule, the league is wide open.

There is a three-way tie at the top following Iona’s 65-62 loss at Siena Monday night. The Gaels blew a 10-point halftime lead and are even at 7-2 with Manhattan and Loyola at the MAAC summit.

But here’s where it gets fun for the final nine games of the season: Manhattan has beat Iona, who has a victory over Loyola, who knocked off Manhattan.

Then there is underachieving Fairfield, sitting at 5-3, 1.5 games behind the leaders but with a game in hand.

Rider, which plays six of its final nine league games at home, is in a three-way tie for fifth with Siena and Niagara. The aim for the Broncs is to avoid falling into the bottom four. The top six teams get an opening-night bye at the conference tournament while squads 7-10 have to play on that first night.

Rider is coming off a 24-point win against last-place Canisius and should like its chances to pull to .500 in league play with struggling St. Peter’s visiting.

The Broncs already have a win over the Peacocks, 72-58, in Jersey City earlier this month. SPC closed within a point with just over 11 minutes remaining, but Rider finished the game on a 23-10 run.
The Peacocks, MAAC tournament champions a year ago, have struggled to replace four starters from that team. Wes Jenkins, Jeron Belin, Ryan Bacon and Nick Leon are all gone.

They’ve lost four of five after snapping an eight-game skid with a win over Canisius. Two of the Peacocks’ three conference wins have come against the Griffs. The other, over Siena, came on Dec. 1.

Junior Chris Prescott is their top scorer, averaging 12.3 points per game. Freshman Lamin Fulton, a high school teammate of Rider forward Danny Stewart, had 19 points in the first meeting for SPC.

The Broncs, who will have to be careful not to get caught looking ahead, face Siena Sunday in a key clash that will go toward tournament positioning. The Saints held on for an 83-79 victory in the first matchup.

Projected starting lineups: Rider: G-Eddie Michell (Fr., 4.5 ppg), G-Jon Thompson (Jr., 7 ppg), F-Novar Gadson (Sr., 9.2 ppg), F-Brandon Penn (Sr., 12.9 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (Sr., 12.9 ppg).

St. Peter’s: G-Lamin Fulton (Fr., 9.9 ppg), Chris Prescott (Jr., 12.3 ppg), G-Chris Burke (So., 5.8 ppg), F-Darius Conely (Jr., 11.4 ppg), F-Markese Tucker (Fr., 6.5 ppg).

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