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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

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Game 25: Niagara (14-9, 10-2) at Rider (12-12, 7-5)


Who: Niagara (14-9, 10-2) at Rider (12-12, 7-5).

When: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Alumni Gymnasium, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider def. Marist, 64-53; Niagara lost to Loyola, 89-87 (2 OT).

Background: When these two last met, the Broncs were left with a sour taste in their mouth.

After all, Rider was flat out robbed.

Jon Thompson hit what should have been the winning shot at the buzzer, but a combination of clock operator error and referee incompetence ruled Thompson’s basket no good.

The MAAC suspended the three officials involved for one game and publicly reprimanded the clock operator at Niagara.

“We’re not gonna use the word cheat. But they mismanaged the clock,” Thompson said this week at practice. “We definitely want revenge.”

The two get together for the first time since the incident Thursday night at Alumni Gym.

It’s a big game in the conference race.

The first-place Purple Eagles are soaring high, having won 10 straight league games before a double-overtime loss to Loyola last time out put a halt to that streak.

Niagara hasn't won in Lawrenceville since the 2006-07 season.

Joe Mihalich’s squad boasts arguably the best backcourt in the league with super sophomores Juan’ya Green and Antoine Mason — son of former NBA all-star Anthony Mason — both averaging over 16 points per game.

“Those guys are high-level players,” said Rider coach Kevin Baggett. “They’re playing with more confidence, and as a result, their team is better. Even when you think they’re out of a game, they find a way to get that game into overtime.”

To slow them down, Baggett will look to Thompson, whom he considers the best defensive guard in the league.

“We count on Jon to guard the other teams best player,” Baggett said. “I think Jon should be considered for Defensive Player of the Year in this league. He does a good job when guarding the other teams best players. He’ll be up for the challenge.”

The Broncs, at 7-5 in the conference, are three games behind the Purple Eagles, but with a victory, feel like they are right back in the mix.

“We need the rest of the games,” Thompson said. “We figure if we can drop Niagara twice that will give us a little more of a window. Hopefully, somebody can help us and give them another loss.”

Projected starting lineup: Rider: G-Jon Thompson (Sr. 11.5 ppg), G-Anthony Myles (Jr. 11.8 ppg), G-Nurideen Lindsey (Jr. 8.9 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (Jr. 11.3 ppg), C-Dera Nd-Ezuma (Sr. 2.5 ppg).
Niagara: G-Juan’ya Green (So. 16.7 ppg), G-Antoine Mason (So. 18.9 ppg), G-Ameen Tanksley (So. 10.9 ppg), G-Tahjere McCall (Fr. 4 ppg), F-Devin White (Sr. 5.9 ppg).


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