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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.

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.



British Bomber: Given the chance to start in place of the injured Nurideen Lindsey, Pereira delivered a career-high 17 points.

The junior guard from England shot 6 of 10 from the field, including five 3-pointers. When the Broncs took the lead for good in the second half, Pereira was in the middle of it with a pair 3s.

"Give him some credit because he's the one that got us a lead and kind of spaced the game out when we were trying to grind this thing out," Baggett said.

The coach added he had no hesitation putting Pereira in the lineup.

"He's capable of doing that and I've seen him do it in practice quite a bit," Baggett said. "I'm excited for him because it gave him a chance to step in, and kind of a reward for him for how hard he works in practice."

Pereira was all smiles — rightfully so — afterward.

"I didn't want to get down on myself after I missed the first two like I did in the previous games," he said. "Once I got my third then fourth, it came to me. I was playing with bags of confidence."

Lindsey Update: Baggett said the junior guard is day-to-day and he'll be evaluated again before the Iona game Sunday. "He had to get past the headaches first before he could take the test," the coach said.

Iron Mikes in Jersey City: For local hoops fans, Trenton Catholic Academy is well represented on the St. Peter's roster. Sophomore forward Markese Tucker scored nine points, while freshman guard Chazz Patterson had three.

Quick, Get Me a Fire Extinguisher: Yep, that's right, the courtside printer at the Yanitelli Center caught on fire at the end of the game, making getting a final boxscore a bit of hassle. But, all's well that ends well, and we'll just chalk that one up to #midmajorproblems.

AROUND THE MAAC
Niagara 87, Siena 64: Well, the preseason prognostication went 1 for 2. Hit on the Purple Eagles (10-8, 6-1), whiffed on the Saints (4-14, 2-5). The MAAC is a guard-driven league and Niagara has two of the best. Antoine Mason and Juan'ya Green combined for 44 points.

Canisius 64, Manhattan 60: Congratulations to Griffs coach Jim Baron on his 400th career win. He's accumulated that number at the following schools: St. Francis (Pa.), St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island and Canisius. Pretty impressive. Even if you're not buying the Griffs (11-7, 4-3) as a legit title contender yet — the FCP is not — Baron is still the frontrunner for Coach of the Year.

Loyola 72, Marist 58: Dylon Cormier had 19, Erik Etherly added 14 and the Greyhounds (13-2, 5-2) got back on track. Feeling here is Loyola and Iona are still the favorites for the regular-season title, although Niagara has been a pleasant surprise. As for the Red Foxes (4-14, 1-6), they've lost eight straight. Chuck Martin's seat getting hotter by the day?

Tonight: Fairfield (10-8, 2-4) at Iona (11-6, 5-1), 9 p.m. , ESPNU

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