Broncs go for three in a row at Niagara
When: Saturday, 2 p.m., ‘Taps’ Gallagher Center, 107.7 FM TheBronc.
Last time out: Rider def. Canisius, 71-66; Niagara def. Siena, 58-54.
Background: With a victory, Rider can secure at least a .500 record in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.
The Broncs have five games remaining — four within the conference — before heading north to Springfield, Mass., for the league tournament.
Rider sits fifth in the standings, three games ahead of Niagara and Siena, who are tied for sixth. The Broncs are 1 1/2 games behind fourth-place Fairfield and two back of third-place Manhattan.
When Rider and Niagara met a week ago, the Broncs erased a 17-point second half deficit, winning on Brandon Penn’s 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds to go.
The Purple Eagles snapped a five-game losing streak with their win over Siena Thursday. Ameen Tanksley led the way with a career-high 24 points.
Niagara has a talented backcourt led by freshman Juan’ya Green (16.7 ppg) – held to six points in the first matchup — redshirt freshman Antoine Mason (14.8 ppg) and sophomore Marvin Jordan.
Jordan came off the bench to score 24 points on an Alumni Gymnasium-record eight 3-pointers a week ago.
Rider played Thursday without freshman forward Junior Fortunat and freshman guard Eddie Mitchell. According to a team spokesman, both contracted the norovirus that has spread throughout the school’s campus this past week.
Both remained in the team hotel Thursday night and did not attend the game. Both are listed as doubtful for Saturday’s game.
Projected starting lineups: Rider: G-Jon Thompson (Jr., 7.2 ppg), G-Jeff Jones (Sr., 13.1 ppg), F-Novar Gadson (Sr., 9.5 ppg), F-Brandon Penn (Sr., 12.3 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (So., 11.7 ppg).
Niagara: G-Juan’ya Green (Fr., 16.7 ppg), G-Antoine Mason (Fr., 14.8 ppg), G-Ameen Tanksley (Fr., 8.8 ppg), G-Malcolm Lemmons (So., 8.3 ppg), F-Scooter Gillette (Jr., 4.7 ppg).