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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

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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.”

Said Baggett: “It’s the things we aren’t doing to help us win games. Those are the things that are frustrating. I’m not frustrated with our team, because I know those guys are trying and giving me all they have.”

Case in point: After battling back from down 11 in the second half to take a 61-60 lead on Shawn Valentine’s 3-pointer with 6:10 remaining, the Broncs, already in the penalty, committed a foul on the perimeter. Devon Saddler made both free throws, putting the Blue Hens back on top.

Rider never led again.
Down 69-66 as the clock ticked under a minute, Saddler, Delaware’s leading scorer, connected on a tough jumper with 45.8 seconds to go.

Saddler came in averaging 19.8 points per game but was kept quiet most of the afternoon. He finished with 12.

The Blue Hens (5-8) did their work on the offensive glass. They grabbed 24 offensive rebounds, leading to 20 second-chance points. For the game, they out-boarded the Broncs 52-31.

Jamelle Hagins, who trailed only Siena’s O.D. Anosike in rebounding nationally, grabbed 16 (seven offensive) to go with his 14 points. Josh Brinkley led Delaware with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Rider forwards Dera Nd-Ezuma and Junior Fortunat combined for seven rebounds.

In crunch time, Baggett had four guards and Danny Stewart on the floor.

“Those guys aren’t rebounding and that’s what’s hurting us,” Baggett said. “Between them, to have seven rebounds, that’s not good enough from my biggest guys on the court.

“No question we have to get tougher. That starts with me.”

Stewart finished with 13 points and Jon Thompson added 10. Anthony Myles, playing in front of a large number of friends and family in his home state, had seven before fouling out.

Rider is 1-1 in the league after splitting its first two games earlier this month. It travels to preseason favorite Loyola Friday.

The race isn’t near over, but the Broncs have some catching up to do.

“There’s no frustration. That just happens in basketball,” Lindsey said. “We got a bunch of guys that work hard everyday. It’s nothing to get discouraged about. Basketball isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

NOTES: Delaware now leads the all-time series 32-30. Rider had won seven of the past eight and four in a row. … This was the return game of the Blue Hens’ visit for BracketBusters in the 2010-11 season. … Stewart’s free-throw miss with 14:05 left in the second half snapped his streak of 18 in a row.


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