Blogs > The Full-Court Press

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

Friday, February 14, 2014

Rider's free fall continues with 17-point loss at home to Manhattan

Kevin Baggett didn't have any answers falling a 17-point loss. Photo by John Blaine

LAWRENCEVILLE — While Rider coach Kevin Baggett didn’t outright call Thursday night’s 86-69 loss to Manhattan the low point of the season, the second-year boss is clearly searching for answers.

A 17-point home defeat — the Broncs’ third straight in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — will make you do that.

“I can be honest with you,” Baggett said. “Everybody is looking for answers. This is pretty tough.”

The Broncs (12-12, 8-7) dropped to 6-4 at Alumni Gymnasium and 2-7 against teams with a record above .500.

They have five games remaining to right the ship before the conference tournament. As it stands, they’ll be fortunate to hold on to the coveted fifth position, sitting a half game ahead of Siena, which comes to Lawrenceville on Feb. 23 in what is shaping up to be a huge game.

There certainly weren’t any answers against the Jaspers (18-6, 11-4), who shot 57.1 percent (12 of 21) from behind the arc and forced 19 Rider turnovers that led to 21 points.

At one point early in the second half, the Broncs simply neglected to guard sharpshooter Shane Richards on an inbound play.

The sophomore buried a 3-pointer to put Manhattan up 17 as it started the second half on an 18-5 run.

“Another long night for us,” Baggett lamented after his team self destructed in a second half in which it went from down four at intermission to down 20 with eight minutes left.

“We didn’t come out with any energy,” said freshman guard Jimmie Taylor, who scored 11 points. “We were right there. We knew what we had to do. We always talk about it, but we never show it when we come out on the court.”

Instead of his seniors — Anthony Myles and Danny Stewart — forming a dynamic one-two punch, it was Manhattan’s duo of George Beamon (22 points) and Michael Alvarado (18) that did most of the damage.

George Beamon had 22 points for Manhattan. Photo by John Blaine.

Myles finished with a team-high 19 points, but Stewart was bothered by the Jaspers’ Rhamel Brown — who came in second in the nation in blocks per game and swatted away seven before fouling out — and scored just eight points on 1 of 9 shooting.

“Mentally when guys are blocking his shot … when he goes up against big guys, he’s over-thinking,” Baggett said. “He’s struggled of late. When Danny’s not playing well, we’re going to be hard-pressed to win games.

“We’ve got Anthony playing well one game, Danny doesn’t. Danny plays well one game, Anthony doesn’t. We’re not on the same page as far as the team right now."

Baggett said he’s considering making lineup changes when Rider takes the court Saturday at Fairfield.

He thought about starting Khalil Alford, who had 11 points (all in the first half), Thursday in place of the banged-up Zedric Sadler.

“I’ve got a bunch of guys struggling at once,” Baggett said. “I’m playing some guys too many minutes. I just got to make some adjustments.”

Any kind of spark will work.

“I just know we’re not playing well,” Baggett said. “Coming down the stretch, we’re not playing well. Guys that I’m really counting on … we’re just not playing well.”

Danny Stewart struggled, scoring eight points. Photo by John Blaine


The Rider women also had a tough night, falling at Fairfield, 52-50, when they weren’t able to hold a late lead.

The Stags’ Brittany Obi-Talbot converted a three-point play with 3.1 seconds remaining to down the Broncs, who led by five with 3:44 left after Mikal Johnson nailed a 3-poiner.

Johnson put in a career-high 22 points on 8 of 15 shooting, including five 3-pointers. Rider (12-12, 8-7) needed Johnson’s big night because MyNeshia McKenzie struggled through a six-point, 11-rebound performance.

The Broncs had a three-game winning streak snapped and return to action Sunday afternoon at first-place Iona.

Katie Cizynski led Fairfield (16-8, 13-4) with 15 points.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home