Morning Run — Game 3: Rider 65, Monmouth 62
"Our guys lost their composure a little bit and I lost mine a little bit," coach Kevin Baggett said.
"I think it's a matter of some guys getting tight and not playing to their strengths. First time coach, too, so maybe that's a little bit of tightness on my behalf, putting pressure on those guys. I'm always going to shoulder the blame on this for not settling our guys down as well as I should have."
The Broncs have won six straight over their in-state rival and 12 of the last 16.
Next up is a four-game road trip, beginning Monday night against Frank Martin's South Carolina Gamecocks. And as any coach or player would tell you, it's better to hit the road after a win — even if you turned it over 28 times.
Stud of the game: Danny Stewart carried Rider in the second half. He finished with a season-high 18 points, including a stretch of eight straight Bronc points, single-handedly keeping them in front after Monmouth tied it with just over seven minutes to go.
Baggett wasn't happy with the play of his forwards — particularly Stewart — against Stony Brook when they combined for just seven points.
"I challenge myself," Stewart said. "I had a bad game against Stony Brook. We need a post presence, and I felt like, if we're going to win, we need to score in the paint.
"I felt like I had a mismatch. I didn't care if the guys was bigger than me because I could take it to the basket, get fouled and score. I just didn't care. I needed to score and give my team a cushion."
Dud of the game: Andrew Nicholas, Monmouth's leading scorer, had a dreadful afternoon, finishing with eight points on 3 of 17 shooting. He had a chance to tie with time winding down, but missed a contested 3-pointer.
"We have to learn how to win," said Hawks coach King Rice. "Everybody at Monmouth has to stop celebrating, saying that we're close. When you lose, it's a loss. It's not OK. It's never going to be OK. We have to start winning some of these closer games."
Canisius 72, St. Bonaventure 69: Jim Baron already looking like a good hire. Golden Griffs are 2-0.
Iona 94, Wake Forest 68: Sean Armand, long-range specialist, with seven 3-pointers and 28 points as Gaels show they can still light up a scoreboard. How bad must the Demon Deacons be?
Marist 67, Columbia 62: Chavaughn Lewis (19 points) and Devin Price (16 points) lead Red Foxes to first win.
Siena 56, Northern Kentucky 52: Rakeem Brookins marked his season debut with the winning jumper, denying the Norse their first win as Division I program. That would have been a tough loss for Mitch Buonaguro to swallow.