|Jon Thompson with the dunk/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE|
LAWRENCEVILLE — This time, the walk to the postgame press conference was a lot longer for Kevin Baggett.
And it had nothing to do with the Tuesday morning tip-off.
Baggett tasted defeat for the first time as a head coach after
Rider fell, 54-46, to Stony Brook at Alumni Gymnasium in a game that
started at 6 a.m. as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.
“I told our guys, we’re going to face some adversity,” Baggett
said. “We’re not going to win every game, and I get that. We put
ourselves in position to win today, but obviously we came up short.”
Nurideen Lindsey finished with 17 points — 15 in the second half —
Anthony Myles added 14 and the Broncs (1-1) rallied in the final 20
minutes, tying the game at 41 with 4:16 remaining. But the Seawolves
(3-0) got timely jumpers from Dave Coley and Anthony Jackson and made 7
of 8 free throws over the final 1:33, finishing on a 13-5 run to remain
“Just grind it out,” said Coley, who finished with 12 points, when
asked what was said in the huddle after coach Steve Pikiell called
timeout once Rider tied it at 41.
The Broncs, who shot 30.8 percent and connected on just 6 of 20 from
behind the arc, trailed by as many as 11 early in the second half, but
finally came to life behind Lindsey.
Aided by the junior guard’s banked in 3-pointer from near half court
and a pressure defense — Rider forced 21 turnovers — the Broncs went on a
15-4 run, tying it on Danny Stewart’s dunk that brought the sold-out
crowd to its feet.
“The crowd got into it,” said Lindsey, who shot 6 of 12 from the
field but just 2 of 5 from the free throw line. “It was kind of a relief
for me too. I was struggling a little bit. I couldn’t make a layup, I
couldn’t get to the foul line and I needed something to get me going and
get some of that pressure off my back. When I hit (the 3-pointer from
half court) I thought it was going to be a great morning.”
|Rider fans got into the act with a white out/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE|
Said Myles: “Our crowd was into it and our bench was into it. We were ready to go, but unfortunately it didn’t go our way.”
A lot of that had to do with Coley and Jackson.
Coley knocked down a shot on the Seawolves’ ensuing possession to put
them back in front and after Stewart missed a layup on Rider’s next
trip, Jackson (12 points) calmly swished a mid-range jumper as the shot
“We’ve been in this situation before,” Pikiell said. “We’re always
playing on the road against that kind of crowd. We have a lot of faith
in these two junior guards. They’ve been around and they like to take
|Jon Thompson goes up for a layup/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE|
Rider, which lost to Drexel in this game a year ago, is now 0-2 in 6 a.m. contests.
Stony Brook, which beat Monmouth in 2010, is 2-0.
The Broncs didn’t help their cause in the first half, going 9:40
without a point. The Seawolves outscored them, 17-0, during that
stretch, turning a six-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
Rider closed the half with baskets by Dera Nd-Ezuma and Lindsey to trail, 28-21, at the break.
“We got in some foul trouble, including myself,” Lindsey said. “That
kind of altered our energy and it went down a little bit.”
Baggett said he will go back to the drawing board for Saturday’s game
against Monmouth — the last of three straight at home to open the
He wants to shorten that walk to the postgame press conference.
“I’m proud of our guys that we continued to battle once we got down,”
Baggett said. “We can’t get down like that, but this is a process that
won’t get there overnight. But we’ll get there.”
NOTES: Freshman forward Derrick Stewart did not dress (discipline). …
Stony Brook won the battle on the boards, 35-27, but Rider grabbed 11
offensive rebounds to the Seawolves’ eight. … The 46 points are the
fewest since also scoring 46 in a loss to Loyola last season on Feb. 3. …
Stony Brook only made 3 of 14 on 3-pointers but made up for it at the
free throw line, hitting 19 of 24. … Stony Brook’s Eric McAlister, who
spent time at Hightstown High, finished with two points in 22 minutes.