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Monday, January 27, 2014

Tommy Pereira's shooting stroke giving Broncs a boost

Tommy Pereira scored a career-high 20 points in win over Monmouth. John Blaine Photo.

LAWRENCEVILLE — When Tommy Pereira gets his 3-point stroke going, he’s a huge asset for Rider.

The senior guard scored a career-best 20 points Sunday, hitting on six of his seven attempts from behind the arc in a 77-71 overtime victory against Monmouth.

He did most of his damage during the second half, scoring 12 of his 20, including a trio of triples that helped the Broncs fight off a Hawks run after they got within four.

“I couldn’t do it without the teammates around me,” Pereira said. “They are the ones getting me the ball in the open spot. As soon as one goes, you saw what happened.”

Head coach Kevin Baggett can feel when Pereira has it going on, too. He rode the sharpshooter for 22 minutes.

“I can tell when he has that little bounce in his step,” Baggett said. “When he hit his first one ... it’s going to be a game for Tommy to hit some big-time shots. He didn’t hesitate at all.”

Pereira, who hails from Nottingham, England, entered averaging 4.5 points per game.

As he’s shown in the past — his previous career high was 17 in a win at Saint Peter’s last year — he has the ability to go off.

That wasn’t lost on Monmouth head coach King Rice.

“He makes shots. That’s what he does,” Rice said. “They found him and that’s just a good, veteran basketball team that they can continue to find him.”

Pereira’s six 3-pointers were also a personal best, and he added three rebounds and a steal.

“Sometimes when he hesitates, that’s when he doesn’t make them,” Baggett said. “He didn’t hesitate at all. On the one, he had a fast break and I’m saying, ‘Go ahead and lay it in.’ He raises up and hits a 3. That’s more about players than coaches.”


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