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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 (https://twitter.com/kj_franko) or email kfranko@trentonian.com.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rider making best of CIT opportunity

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Anthony Myles matched a career high with 23 points against Hartford/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE

LAWRENCEVILLE — While it’s not the postseason tournament Rider had its eye on, coach Kevin Baggett and the Broncs are happy to still be playing.

Rider (19-14) advanced to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com tournament with a victory over Hartford Tuesday — the program’s first postseason win since 1957 — and visits East Carolina Saturday night with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.

The Pirates, out of Conference USA, are 19-12 and rallied to defeat Savannah State by one in the first round.

“Obviously, everyone is a little down on the fact that we didn’t get into the NCAA tournament,” said Baggett following Thursday afternoon’s practice. “We are in the postseason and we are embracing it."

Baggett said the CIT and CBI tournaments both contacted the school before the start of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament asking if it would be interested in participating if it didn’t get the NCAA auto berth.

“I just think that we’re young and any time you get a chance to play postseason, you take it,” said Baggett, who can match Robert Greenwood for most victories by a first-year coach with a win over ECU. “As far as I’m concerned, it still gives me a chance to get better as a head coach.”

The way things ended in the conference quarterfinals also hasn’t sat well with the Broncs. They scored just 42 points — a program low in the MAAC tourney — and had 21 turnovers without an assist in that loss to Fairfield.

They’re looking at this CIT opportunity as a chance to get that sour taste out of their mouths.

"That was the best thing about playing again," Baggett said. "Even when I was a player, I wanted to play again right away to get that taste out of our mouths. I'm just glad we got the opportunity to do that."

Added junior guard Anthony Myles, who re-found his shooting touch against Hartford, matching a career-high 23 points: “The season didn’t end how we wanted it to. ... We’re taking this opportunity to build and get a good head start on next year.”

Now there’s only one thing left to do.

“We wouldn’t be in it if we weren’t trying to win it,” Myles said.


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