Blogs > The Full-Court Press

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Milligan, Rider women won't look ahead as they go for third straight win

MyNeshia McKenzie earned MAAC Player of the Week for the second time this season/ Photo by GREGG SLABODA

LAWRENCEVILLE — Lynn Milligan has a superstition.

The head coach of the Rider women even knows it is an old cliché, but she won’t look ahead on the schedule.

After all, it’s not like this program — only once have the Broncs finished with a winning record in league play since joining the MAAC in 1997 — has the luxury to peek into the future.

“Carpe Diem,” Milligan said. “That’s all we talk about — seizing the day. This group does a good job of staying in the moment.”

At present, Rider is in its best league position in a long time. The Broncs (9-10, 4-4) are tied for fifth, coming off a crucial road win at Fairfield and have three straight at home, starting Thursday night against Manhattan (5-14, 2-6).

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Morning Run — Game 22: Manhattan 62, Rider 51

Quick reaction: Jon Thompson swore there weren't too many congratulations or pats on the back after Rider's five-game winning streak, but for whatever reason, the Broncs turned in a sloppy weekend. Instead of rubbing shoulders at the top of the conference, Rider (11-11, 6-4) slipped back to the middle of the pack following Sunday's loss to Manhattan (6-14, 4-6). The Broncs couldn't figure out the Jaspers' 2-3 zone, hitting just 6 of their 22 attempts from beyond the arc, while scoring 14 points in the paint. "It looked like a foreign object to us," said coach Kevin Baggett. In the two games this weekend, Rider averaged 50.5 points per game. That's not going to get it done on your home court.

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Broncs befuddled by Jaspers' defense

LAWRENCEVILLE — When he was a player, Kevin Baggett used to look at an opponent’s zone defense and lick his lips. He knew there were spaces to attack and open shots on the floor.

For a reason he couldn’t quite figure out, that didn’t translate to his Rider team Sunday afternoon in a 62-51 loss to Manhattan at Alumni Gymnasium.

The 2-3 zone the Jaspers threw at the Broncs might as well have been from Mars.

“We looked at it as if it was some foreign object,” Baggett said. “The way they disguised it, my guards thought it was something else when it wasn’t. We had no answers for it.”

Rider managed just 14 points in the paint and fired up a 6-for-22 from behind the arc. When the ball did get down to Danny Stewart — unlike the first meeting, when the junior had 22 points and 16 rebounds — he was double-teamed immediately.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Game 22: Manhattan (5-14, 3-6) at Rider (11-10, 6-3)

Who: Manhattan (5-14, 3-6) at Rider (11-10, 6-3).

When: 4 p.m., Sunday, Alumni Gymnasium, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider lost to Canisius, 67-50; Manhattan lost to Loyola, 51-41.

Previous meeting: Rider won 69-60.

Background: The Broncs look for a bounce back performance following a disappointing performance Friday night in the loss to Canisius in which they had their five-game win streak snapped.

Coach Kevin Baggett will look for Danny Stewart to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between these two on Jan. 10. In that game, Stewart scored 22 points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds.

The junior forward is coming off a six-point, two rebound contest against Canisius.

Anthony Myles also had a double-double, finishing with 13 points and 14 boards.

The Jaspers are still missing leading scorer George Beamon, who is out indefinitely and unlikely to return this season.

Point guard Michael Alvarado did not play in the first meeting, but has since returned from an ankle injury of his own. He played 27 minutes off the bench in Friday’s loss to Loyola.

Manhattan has lost three straight and five of its last six.

Also on the MAAC schedule Sunday: Iona (13-7, 7-2) at Loyola (15-6, 7-2), noon; Siena (4-16, 2-7) at Marist (5-15, 2-7), 2 p.m.; Fairfield (11-10, 3-6) at St. Peter’s (6-13, 1-8), 2 p.m.; Niagara (12-8, 8-1) at Canisius (13-7, 6-3), 4 p.m.

Projected starting lineups: Rider: G-Jon Thompson (Sr. 10.7 ppg), G-Anthony Myles (Jr. 12.2 ppg), G- Tommy Pereira (Jr. 4.9 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (Jr. 11 ppg), C-Dera Nd-Ezuma (Sr. 2.3 ppg).
Manhattan: RaShawn Stores (Fr. 5.1 ppg), G-Mohamed Koita, (Sr.), F-Shane Richards (Fr. 6.8 ppg), F-Roberto Colonette (Gr. 3.3 ppg), C-Rhamel Brown (Jr. 11.5 ppg).

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Morning Run — Game 21: Canisius 67, Rider 50

Quick reaction: That five-game winning streak was gone in a flash. The Broncs (11-10, 6-3) never looked up to challenge Friday night, and Canisius (13-7, 6-3) turned on the jets in the second-half for a 17-point victory. Looking back, Rider was fortunate to be down just three at the half and without an increase in energy were in trouble for the second 20 minutes. The Griffs opened the second half 17-4 and never looked back. If the Broncs felt like they were in with the conference's elite following that five-game win streak, this was a step back to the middle of the pack. "I think it shows we're a little immature," said coach Kevin Baggett. "We have to understand that people will start hunting us. Guys I lean on didn't show up."

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Broncs have streak snapped by Canisius

LAWRENCEVILLE — Riding a wave of momentum with a chance to establish itself among the conference elite, Kevin Baggett was instead left searching for answers Friday night following Rider’s 67-50 loss to Canisius.

The Broncs had their five-game winning streak halted, slipping into a fourth-place tie with the Golden Griffins at 6-3 in the league.

Niagara, Iona and Loyola were all winners Friday, dropping Rider two games off the Purple Eagles’ first-place pace.

“We didn’t have it today,” Baggett said. “They just out-toughed us. I’m pissed at some of our guys that didn’t meet their toughness. When we don’t do that, we’re not a very good team.”

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Game 21: Canisius (12-7, 5-3) at Rider (11-9, 6-2)

Jim Baron has orchestrated the turnaround at Canisius/ AP Photo

Who: Canisius (12-7, 5-3) at Rider (11-9, 6-2).

When: 7 p.m., Friday, Alumni Gymnasium, 107.7 FM The Bronc.
Last time out: Rider def. Iona, 67-62; Canisius def. Siena, 76-44.

Background: The Golden Griffins are one of the surprise stories of the season.

After winning five games — just one in the MAAC — a year ago, new coach Jim Baron has guided Canisius to an impressive turnaround.

“I did know that we had some talented guys,” said Baron, referencing second team all-league selection Harold Washington, the lone bright spot from a 5-25 season. “I think a lot of it is a wait and see attitude to see how it gels.”

Baron recently picked up his 400th career coaching victory, doing so at four less-fancied schools — St. Francis (Pa.), St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island and Canisius.

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Emily Fazzini fuels Rider women in rout of St. Peter's

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Emily Fazzini the Rider women expected to see is starting to show up.

Fazzini scored 20 points, two off her career high, and the Broncs used a 20-0 run in the first half, racing past winless St. Peter’s for a 74-51 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory Thursday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

Following a slow start to the season because of offseason ankle surgery that cost her the first four games, Fazzini, a sophomore guard, is beginning to look like the player coach Lynn Milligan thought she would be when she nabbed her from Philadelphia Catholic League program Archbishop Carroll.

“She’s finding her groove,” Milligan said. “I think you’re starting to see the real Emily Fazzini. She feels good. She’s healthy. She’s confident in her shot and not afraid to take the shot.”

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rider's Pereira playing with confidence

LAWRENCEVILLE — Tommy Pereira’s done more interviews in the past week than he had in his previous two years since arriving on campus at Rider.

The junior guard is just fine with that, because it comes with his recent success.

Pereira averaged 15.5 points per game in wins over St. Peter’s and Iona while filling in for the injured Nurideen Lindsey.

“I’ve always been a hard worker here,” Pereira said. “Coach (Kevin) Baggett has given me my chance and I’m taking full advantage of it.”

Lindsey missed those games with a concussion but has been cleared to play and is available for Friday night’s contest against Canisius.

Baggett said he was still deciding who would start, but was leaning toward Pereira.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rider's Lindsey cleared to play after concussion

Nuri Lindsey was cleared to play Friday against Canisius/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE

LAWRENCEVILLE — Rider guard Nurideen Lindsey has been cleared to play after missing the last two games with a concussion.

Lindsey dressed for practice Wednesday, but did not participate in any contact drills. Coach Kevin Baggett said he will practice in full Thursday and be available for Friday’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contest against Canisius.

“My body is feeling great,” said Lindsey, who sustained the concussion taking a charge in practice last week. “Having the week that I had off, I came in and got treatment on my body besides having the concussion. I had a chance to get my legs back under me.”

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Former Rider coach Ray Wilson dies

Former Rider University basketball coach Ray Wilson died over the weekend. He was 71.

Wilson coached the women's team for the five seasons and was the 1985 East Coast Conference Coach of the Year.

The longtime Toms River resident also spent time on the men's bench as an assistant during the 1983-84 season in which the Broncs won the ECC and took part in the NCAA tournament.

Current women's coach Lynn Milligan played for Wilson.

"He was such a nice man, and a very good coach," Milligan said. "The players all really liked him. This is sad news."

A 1964 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Wilson taught physical education at Lakewood High School and led the Piners to three Shore Conference titles in his five seasons as boys coach before moving to Rider.

He also coached at Hammonton High.

Wilson spent the past 20 years living in North Carolina.

Morning Run — Game 20: Rider 67, Iona 62

Iona's David Laury is sandwiched by Rider's Danny Stewart, right, and Tommy Pereira/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE

Quick reaction: This couldn't be a track meet. That much coach Kevin Baggett was sure of. Rider mucked it just enough, kept the game in the 60s and found a way to beat Iona for its fifth straight win. The Broncs (11-9, 6-2) held the Gaels (12-7, 6-2) to 33.9 percent shooting and 5 of 24 from beyond the arc. So many times Iona has buried opponents under a 3-point barrage, but Rider did a good job making life difficult on the perimeter. Sean Armand, a 44.1 percent 3-point shooter, went an uncharacteristic 4 of 11, while Lamont Jones needed 16 shots (he did make 10 of 11 free throws) for his 20 points. This was the kind of game you have to get the Gaels in if you're going to beat them. The Broncs even left a handful of points on the floor with missed layups — there must have been six or seven that rolled around the rim and spilled out — and an 8-for-15 afternoon at the line. But as Danny Stewart put it, "Regardless of how many shots we missed, we got the win by any means possible." And that's all that matters.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rider downs Iona for fifth straight win

Coach Kevin Baggett, center, celebrates with Tommy Pereira, right, and Nurideen Lindsey, left. Photo by JOHN BLAINE

LAWRENCEVILLE — Anthony Myles could see his free throw spinning around the rim, ready to spill out and give Iona a chance to dash down the court and tie the game.

So he acted on instinct. Myles crashed the glass, tipping in his own miss with 16 seconds left to give Rider a five-point lead and secure what would end up a 67-62 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory Sunday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium.

“It was one of those things that just happens without me thinking,” said Myles, who finished with 12 points. “I know I wanted it. I wanted the game. I saw my free throw rolling around the basket and I’m just thinking, if this comes off, I have to get it somehow.”

Rider (11-9, 6-2) won its fifth straight, moving into a second-place tie with the Gaels (12-7, 6-2), one game behind first-place Niagara.

Iona had its six-game winning streak snapped.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Game 20: Iona (12-6, 6-1) at Rider (10-9, 5-2)

Who: Iona (12-6, 6-1) at Rider (10-9, 5-2).

When: 2 p.m., Sunday, Alumni Gymnasium, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider def. St. Peter’s, 66-54; Iona def. Fairfield, 84-73.

Background: A month ago it would have been hard to envision the Broncs, who were scuffling through a five-game skid, in this position.

But a four-game winning streak — all in the MAAC — have Rider off to a 5-2 start, its best its league play since opening the 2007-08 season 11-2.

Iona and Niagara are tied atop the conference at 6-1, while Rider and Loyola are one game back at 5-2.

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Iona, MAAC popular destination for transfers

Lamont Jones has been an excellent addition for Iona coach Tim Cluess/ AP Photo

LAWRENCEVILLE — Two things stand out about Iona when you see it play. It scores a lot of points and has a roster full of transfers.

Thus igniting debate on one of college basketball’s hot-button issues.

Nine of the 12 players on the Gaels’ roster did not compete at the school during their freshman season. Four of those nine — including leading scorer Lamont Jones — spent time at another Division I program, while the rest came from the Junior College ranks.

Only one upperclassman — junior Sean Armand — has been at the school since he was a freshman.

Transfers, or a least debating them, are in vogue. Players jump around from school to school for any number of reasons. Some have to sit out a year under NCAA rules, while others, like Jones or Rider’s Nurideen Lindsey, win hardship waivers and can play immediately.

There are arguments made both for and against the NCAA changing the rules regarding them.

But this is certain — transfers play a big role in a league like the MAAC.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Morning Run — Game 19: Rider 66, St. Peter's 54

Quick reaction: Rider won its fourth straight for the first time since the end of the 2010-11 season and how good it felt. The Broncs (10-9, 5-2) got a key contribution from the unlikeliest of places — 17 points by Tommy Pereira — and pulled away for a comfortable 12-point win. All of a sudden, Sunday's game with Iona at Alumni Gymnasium is a huge contest in the MAAC race. "It's a very big game," said junior guard Anthony Myles. "We're looking forward to it. It should be a great matchup for us and we're looking to get another win." At 5-2 in the league Rider is off to its best start since beginning the 2007-08 season 11-2. The Broncs sit one game behind first place Niagara and a 1/2 game behind Iona, which hosts Fairfield tonight. A month ago, no one thought Rider would be in this position. Let's see if this group takes the opportunity the way Pereira did Thursday night.

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Tommy Pereira's career night helps Rider win fourth straight

Tommy Pereira scored 17 points in the win over St. Peter's/ File Photo by JOHN BLAINE

JERSEY CITY — Tommy Pereira sure made the most of his opportunity.

Filling in for the injured Nurideen Lindsey, Pereira scored a career-high 17 points in his first career start, helping Rider to a 66-54 victory over St. Peter’s Thursday night in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contest at the Yanitelli Center.

Pereira hit five 3s, including a pair from long range in the second half that helped spark a 9-0 run in which the Broncs grabbed the lead for good.

“When coach called my name, I was ready to go,” said Pereira, who found out he was going to start two days ago after Lindsey suffered a concussion Tuesday in practice.

“Excitement, nervous, you know, first career start,” said the junior guard from England. “I just wanted to go out there and play carefree — just play with confidence.”

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Game 19: Rider (9-9, 4-2) at St. Peter's (6-10, 1-5)

Who: Rider (9-9, 4-2) at St. Peter’s (6-10, 1-5).

When: 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Yanitelli Center, ESPN3, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider def. Loyola, 64-57; St. Peter’s lost to Siena, 66-53.

Background: Kevin Baggett said he won't let his team be fooled by St. Peter's record. Despite a 6-10 mark, the Peacocks opened the season by beating Rutgers and are the only team to knock off Iona in league play.

The Broncs are trying to win four in a row for the first time since the end of the 2010-11 season when they won six straight, including a victory over Canisius in the MAAC quarterfinals.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rider's Stewart earning his keep at free-throw line; Broncs go for four straight at SPC

Danny Stewart is shooting 81.1 percent at the foul line/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE

LAWRENCEVILLE — If you asked Danny Stewart two years ago if he would be the top free-throw shooter on the team, he wouldn’t have believed it.

“I probably would have laughed,” Stewart said. “I was a terrible free-throw shooter.”

Now, it’s no laughing matter.

Stewart is shooting 81.1 percent from the line, including a stretch of 18 in a row in which he made 14 of 14 against Rutgers.

His percentage has gone up in each of his three seasons. As a freshman, he shot at a 54.5 percent clip followed by 66.7 percent as a sophomore.

This year, he leads Rider in attempts (90) and makes (73).

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Rider's Stewart, Princeton's Bray earn Player of Week honors

Rider forward Danny Stewart earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Week honors Monday after averaging 22.5 points per game in wins over Manhattan and Loyola.

Stewart scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in a 69-60 victory over Manhattan and then followed up with 23 points in Sunday’s triumph against Loyola.
Iona’s Sean Armand, who scored 32 points, in a win over Canisius Sunday was also honored.

On the women’s side, junior forward MyNeshia McKenzie was honored as Player of the Week. McKenzie 20.5 points an 13 rebounds per game as the Broncs split a pair of games against Canisius and Loyola.

McKenzie has nine double-doubles this season.
Princeton guard T.J. Bray was honored Monday along with Harvard’s Wesley Suanders as the Ivy League’s Co-Players of the Week. Bray scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Tigers past longtime-rival Penn, 65-53, Saturday at Jadwin Gym.

The junior from Wisconsin is the third Princeton player to receive the award this season. Ian Hummer has been recognized four times, while Will Barrett was selected in Week 1.

Tigers forward Kristen Helmstetter was named the women’s Ivy Player of the Week after racking up 12 points, seven assists and two rebounds in just 25 minutes of action in a 77-47 win over the Quakers.

Saunders scored 19 points while dishing out six assists as the Crimson rolled over Dartmouth 75-65 Saturday in the league opener.

Morning Run — Game 18: Rider 64, Loyola 57


Quick reaction: For the first time this season, Rider has won three in a row. This one, against a team the Broncs lost to a little over a week ago, was the most impressive of the three. With an 11-point lead and 6:30 remaining, the question was: Can they close it out? It got a little hairy — Loyola got within two — but Rider (9-9, 4-2) finished the job thanks largely to Jon Thompson and Danny Stewart. Both scored 23 points with Stewart, like he did against Manhattan, getting the key basket once the Greyhounds (12-6, 4-2) got within two. "It's good that you're in this game so when you go further down the stretch, guys understand what it is like to play in these games," Baggett said. "I think it can only help us."

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Thompson leads way for Rider in win over Loyola

LAWRENCEVILLE — Even Jon Thompson had a hard time believing he had yet to score 20 points in a college game.

Rider’s senior guard came into Sunday afternoon’s contest against Loyola with 66 starts to his name. His 67th turned out to be a special one.

Thompson scored a career-high 23 points, Danny Stewart also finished with 23 and the Broncs won three in a row for the first time this season with a 64-57 victory over the Greyhounds at Alumni Gymnasium.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Loss to Princeton leaves Penn questioning itself

PRINCETON — Jerome Allen was asked if there was anything to his Penn team losing seven of the last eight meetings against archrival Princeton.

“Is that your way of saying we’re a bad team?” the coach asked.

Maybe not a bad team, but one that is certainly struggling following a 65-53 defeat to the Tigers in the Ivy League opener Saturday night at Jadwin Gym. The Quakers fell to 2-13 overall.

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Rider looking for three in a row with Loyola in town

Who: Loyola (12-5, 4-1) at Rider (8-9, 3-2).

When: 2 p.m., Sunday, Alumni Gymnasium, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider def. Manhattan, 69-60; Loyola def. Fairfield, 63-58 (OT).

Background: The Broncs haven’t won three in a row all year but can do so by knocking off the Greyhounds.

Loyola won the first meeting on Jan. 4 in Baltimore, 71-65.  In that game, the Greyhounds took control with a 16-3 run on either side of halftime.

Loyola, which is moving to the Patriot League next season, is making its last visit to Alumni Gym. Rider leads the all-time series 18-14.
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hummer sports interesting hairdo, jury still out

If you were at Princeton’s win over Penn Saturday, you may have noticed Ian Hummer had a bit of a different look going on.

Hummer appeared to have buzzed the sides of his head, but left a strip of longer hair down the middle. Not quite a full punk rock Mohawk, but a fauxhawk (google it).

“I’m getting mixed reviews,” Hummer said of interesting hair choice after the game. “One guy told me I looked like and idiot, (reserve sophomore forward) Daniel Edwards told me he loved it.”

Coach Henderson’s take?

“I like the haircut that doesn’t have six turnovers.”

Princeton tops Penn, 65-53

PRINCETON — Though the season didn’t quite get off to the start T.J. Bray had hoped, Ivy League play sure did.
The junior guard scored a career-high 23 points in front of a nearly packed Jadwin Gym Saturday night, as the Princeton Tigers rolled to a 65-53 victory over their longtime rival Penn Quakers in the Ivy opener.
Bray did most of his damage from behind the arc, knocking down six of his 11 three point attempts.
“It was just one of those days where shots were falling down, and they were coming in the flow of the offense, which is big,” Bray said. “Ian had a couple nice passes to me and I was able to just step in and shoot.”
Coming off an offseason knee injury that prevented him from playing during the team’s summer trip to Spain, Bray had started off the season just 1-19 from three.
“I think your seeing more what he is really like now,” coach Mitch Henderson said.
Despite a few unforced turnovers, the Tigers were able to come out of the gate quickly with crisp ball movement and solid defense. With 12:47 left in the first, Bray found Ian Hummer under the basket for a bucket, bringing Princeton’s early lead to 11-4.
“For us, it was so important to get off to a good start, in the first half especially,” Henderson said. “They were sharing the ball because Penn was trying some different stuff and I thought we adjusted nicely.”
For much of the game, Penn coach Jerome Allen went with the unorthodox strategy of guarding the 6-foot-7 Hummer with the 6-2 Steve Rennard. Rennard, however, proved to be a capable pest, limiting Hummer to a relatively pedestrian 13 points and six rebounds, plus six turnovers.
“The first couple of times down the floor I thought I could just bully him down low, and that wasn’t the case,” Hummer said. “He held his own quite nicely. I knew they were going to collapse, so I just started looking for my teammates.”
Playing without leading scorer and rebounder Fran Dougherty, who is recovering from a bout of mononucleosis, Penn had a hard time establishing any sort of rhythm or consistency on the other end of the court. Freshman guard Tony Hicks managed to score 16, but most of his points came in transition and not within the confines of the offense.
Princeton went into the half up 31-22, then started the second period on an 11-0 run thanks to threes from Hummer, Bray and forward Will Barrett. That stretched the score to 42-22.
“Making shots is so important to the success of any good team,”
With 5:07 left in the game, forward Mack Darrow knocked down his second triple of the game, stretching the score to 61-42. Though the Quakers would mount another small run, Darrow’s shot effectively ended the game.
In addition to Hummer and Bray, sophomore guard Denton Koon also reached double figures for the Tigers with 10 points, while Barrett scored nine and grabbed 10 boards. Freshman big man Darien Nelson-Henry chipped in 11 for Penn.
Princeton won’t play again until after its exam period, when it will host TCNJ Jan. 27. The Tigers will see Penn next in its season finale March 12.
“When we see those guys again in March, we know they will be a different team,” Henderson said.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Game Preview: Penn at Princeton

Who: Princeton (7-6, 0-0) vs. Penn (2-12, 0-0)
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Jadwin Gymnasium, NBC Sports Network, 103.3 WPBR FM
Last time out: Princeton beat Elon, 74-64. Penn lost to Lafayette 85-83.
Background: Penn and Princeton took turns spoiling each other’s seasons last year, with the Quakers putting the Tigers behind the Ivy eight-ball with an early 82-67 win at the Palestra, and Princeton getting its revenge by winning 62-52 in the season finale at Jadwin. That game cost Penn a share of the Ivy title and a chance to play Harvard in a one-game playoff for the league’s NCAA tournament bid.
This season, things are shaping up differently for the two storied programs. The Quakers were hit hard by graduation, losing the 2012 Ivy Player of the Year Zack Rosin as well as key pieces Rob Belcore and Tyler Bernadini. They’ll also have to play without one of their key returning juniors in forward Fran Dougherty, who had been averaging 15.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Dougherty has missed the last four games with mononucleosis.
With a roster comprised mainly of talented by raw youngsters, Penn had a tough time during nonconference play, going 2-12. Five players — Miles Cartwright, Steve Rennard, Tony Hicks, Henry Brooks, and Darien Nelson-Henry — were suspended from the team’s Dec. 21 loss to Delaware for, according the Daily Pennsylvanian, failing a random drug test.
Projected starting lineups: 
Princeton: F – Ian Hummer, 6-7, Sr., 16.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.5 apg. F – Will Barrett, 6-10, Jr., 9.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg. F – Hans Brase, 6-8, Fr., 4.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.8 apg. G – Denton Koon, 6-8, Soph., 8.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.7 apg. G – T.J. Bray, 6-5, Jr., 7.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.5 apg.
Penn: F – Henry Brooks, 6-8, Soph., 5.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.5 apg. F – Greg Louis, 6-7, Soph., 4.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.4 apg. G – Miles Cartwright, 6-3, Jr., 14.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.5 apg. G – Steve Rennard, 6-2, Jr., 3.9 rpg, 1.8 rpg, 1.8 apg. G – Jamal Lewis, 6-0, Fr., 4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 apg.

Morning Run — Game 17: Rider 69, Manhattan 60

Quick reaction: Style points rarely come with road wins, so Rider will take this one and move on. The Broncs (8-9, 3-2) were in control most of the night until Manhattan (4-11, 2-3), playing without its top two scorers, closed the deficit to one late in the second half. Rider took the punch, and countered beautifully, thanks to Danny Stewart. The junior forward had 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, but no play was bigger than his and-1 that pushed the Broncs' lead back to four. Stewart out-hutsled two Jaspers to the rebound then still got his shot in off the glass despite it getting partially blocked. "He's more often consistent than not consistent," coach Kevin Baggett said. "Our guys are starting to understand that, and they trust him. We're asking Danny to do a lot, and he's responding."

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Stewart's presence leads Rider past Manhattan

RIVERDALE, N.Y. — Rider coach Kevin Baggett has talked all season about the importance of having a post presence. Some nights the Broncs get it, others it’s missing.

Thursday night, Danny Stewart brought it.

The junior forward scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, leading Rider past Manhattan, 69-60, at Draddy Gymnasium in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game.

Stewart’s double-double was his second of the season.

“He’s a guy that I can count on,” Baggett said. “He’s a guy that we can trust when we throw it down there.”

Anthony Myles finished with 13 and also set a career-high with 14 boards.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Game 17: Rider (7-9, 2-2) at Manhattan (4-10, 2-2)

George Beamon is out with an ankle injury/ AP PHOTO

Who: Rider (7-9, 2-2) at Manhattan (4-10, 2-2).

When: 7 p.m., Thursday, Draddy Gymnasium, ESPN3, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider def. Siena, 72-53; Manhattan lost to Iona, 78-70.

Background: The Jaspers were a trendy pick to contend for the league title after Steve Masiello’s strong debut season in charge saw them finish third, but injuries have left them shorthanded.

George Beamon, the league’s top returning scorer, has played just four games, while point guard Michael Alvarado has missed the last two.

Both have ankle injuries.
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Lindsey plays underrated defense for Broncs

Nurideen Lindsey is know for his offense, but he also plays a pretty solid defense/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE

While much has been made of Nurideen Lindsey’s offensive struggles, there’s more to his game than that.

Rider coach Kevin Baggett said Wednesday he thinks his defense is underrated.

“He’s pretty good in the press and anticipating things,” Baggett said. “He’s coming around defensively. He’s better on the ball than he is off the ball.”

Lindsey had five steals in the Broncs’ win over Siena. He’s second on the team this season with 25 swipes.

What that does is allow him to get easy baskets in transition. Baggett also made the choice to move Lindsey off the ball before the Rutgers game, giving Jon Thompson the responsibilities at point guard.
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Monday, January 7, 2013

Morning Run — Game 16: Rider 72, Siena 53


Quick Reaction: Rider needed to snap its five-game losing skid, and did so in relatively easy fashion, blowing away Siena by 19. Having the Saints — now losers of 11 straight — in town certainly helped, but the Broncs played well Sunday. They shot 53.4 percent and 50 percent (9 of 18) from beyond the arc. In the second half, Rider cranked up its pressure and pulled away. The Broncs improved to 7-9 overall and 2-2 in the league. Siena fell to 2-13 (0-4). The Saints are the only winless team in the MAAC.
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Rider beats Siena, snaps five-game skid

Nurideen Lindsey drives past Evan Hymes/ Photo by GREGG SLABODA

 LAWRENCEVILLE — A month since it last won a game, Rider can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

The Broncs’ five-game losing streak is history.

Anthony Myles scored 14 points, Junior Fortunat added 13 and Rider swept the season series from Siena for the first time following a 72-53 victory Sunday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium.

“It was a good feeling to get off that losing streak,” Myles said. “Now we want to get it going in the right direction.

“We were just desperate. We had to come out and get it.”
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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Game 16 preview: Siena (2-12, 0-3) at Rider (6-9, 1-2)

Who: Siena (2-12, 0-3) at Rider (6-9, 1-2).

When: 2 p.m., Sunday, Alumni Gymnasium, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider lost to Loyola, 71-65; Siena lost to Iona, 66-62.

Background: Somebody’s losing streak is going to end.
The Broncs have dropped five straight, while the Saints’ skid has reached 10 in a row.

Rider hasn’t won since beating Siena, 62-56 on Dec. 7. In that game, Anthony Myles scored 20 points and Jon Thompson added 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The Saints might be exactly what the doctor ordered for the ailing Broncs. Siena’s last victory, a 56-52 triumph over Northern Kentucky, was on Nov. 17.

Against Iona Friday, the Saints led deep into the second half but let it slip away despite a 19-point, 15-rebound performance by O.D. Anosike. The senior forward continues to excel even as his teammates and embattled coach Mitch Buonaguro falter. Anosike is averaging 13.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game, respectively.

He has 11 double-doubles this season. As a team, Rider has none.

Siena is likely to be without Trenity Burdine, who was suspended for academic reasons prior to Friday night’s game. His return to the team is uncertain.

Projected starting lineups: Rider: G-Jon Thompson (Sr. 10.5 ppg), G-Anthony Myles (Jr. 12.6 ppg), G-Nurideen Lindsey (Jr. 11.1 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (Jr. 10.3 ppg), C-Dera Nd-Ezuma (2.7 ppg).
Siena: G-Evan Hymes (So. 10.9 ppg), G-Rakeem Brookins (12.6 ppg), G-Rob Poole (So. 12.1 ppg), F-O.D. Anosike (Sr. 13.7 ppg), F-Imoh Silas (So. 2.2 ppg).

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Rider drops fifth straight with loss to Loyola

The next time Rider takes the court, it will be a month since it last won a game.

The Broncs lost their fifth straight Friday night, falling to Loyola, 71-65 at Reitz Arena.
Rider (6-9, 1-2) trailed by 14 late in the second half before ripping off eight straight points, cutting the deficit to six with 3:34 to go.

The Greyhounds (10-5, 2-1) made some key shots and free throws down the stretch. Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson made clutch shots on back-to-back Loyola possessions to keep the Broncs from getting any closer.

“We have to do a couple more winning things,” said coach Kevin Baggett on Rider Radio following the loss.
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rider trying to snap skid at Loyola

Junior Fortunat is averaging 4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE
LAWRENCEVILLE — Kevin Baggett could sell his team on this being a new season. But it doesn’t feel like that for the first-year coach.

After all, he can’t change Rider’s 6-8 record.

The Broncs travel to Loyola Friday for the first of 16 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contests.

Each of the league’s 10 teams played their first two conference games in December. 

Rider has lost four straight and hasn’t won since a 62-56 victory over Siena on Dec. 7.

“We’re a little fragile right now,” Baggett said. “Everybody loses a little confidence when you’re losing, and it’s my job to make sure we stay together.”
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Morning Run — Game 14: Delaware 73, Rider 66

Quick reaction: First, let me wish everybody a happy, healthy and safe New Year. Thanks for checking out the Full-Court Press blog and keep checking back as the MAAC season hits full stride.

Now, on to those Broncs: The next time Rider takes the court it will be almost a month since it last won. If the Broncs are going to snap this four-game losing streak, they need to better in close games. Similar to the loss at Rutgers, they hung in Monday afternoon despite getting pounded on the glass (52-31 and 24 offensive rebounds for Delaware) giving themselves a chance to win, even grabbing the lead with six minutes left. That advantage turned out to be short-lived. "It's just frustration from some of the dumb stuff we do," said coach Kevin Baggett. "We foul on the perimeter after we just take the lead. It's the things we aren't doing to help us win games."
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Rider falls again but insists it's not frustrated

NEWARK, Del. — Following Rider’s 73-66 loss to Delaware, Nurideen Lindsey spoke about the season being a marathon rather than a sprint. That may be, but with the MAAC schedule on tap, the Broncs are falling behind.

Rider lost its fourth straight Monday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center, dropping to 6-8 overall.

Both Lindsey and coach Kevin Baggett insist frustration isn’t seeping in yet, but the Broncs haven’t won since Dec. 7 and don’t look like a team that can close out a victory right now.

“We have to learn how to finish games. That’s the biggest thing,” said Lindsey, who scored 13 points, snapping a stretch of three straight in which he failed to reach double-figures.

“Everybody can see we got the fight to be able to compete and stay in games. We have to learn how to finish games. We don’t make a lot of winning plays in games when we battle back.”
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