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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, November 18, 2012

Morning Run — Game 3: Rider 65, Monmouth 62

Quick reaction: Not often do you commit 28 turnovers and win, but that's exactly what Rider did Saturday. Give credit to the Broncs for making two huge defensive stops when they had to, but against better competition, they'll pay for that kind of carelessness with the ball. Most alarming, 16 of those giveaways — which Monmouth turned into 21 points — came in the second half after Rider built a 15-point lead at intermission. That's no way to protect a lead.


"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."

AROUND THE MAAC
Loyola 65, Norfolk State 49: Dylon Cormier led the way with 19 points as the Grehounds are off to a 3-1 start.

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.

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