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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

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rider hosts Siena in MAAC opener

Who: Siena (3-3, 1-0) at Rider (3-5, 0-0).

When: Sunday, 2 p.m., Alumni Gymnasium.

TV/Radio: None/107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last Time Out: Rider def. Central Connecticut State, 69-56; Siena def. Quinnipiac, 88-67.

Background: The Broncs begin Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play against the Saints, who have a league win under their belt after beating Quinnipiac Friday. The schedule makers saddled Rider with the projected top two teams in the conference to start. The Broncs go to Iona on Wednesday before playing three more non-league games.

Big Man On Campus: Matt Lopez continued his strong play in the win over CCSU, putting in 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Lopez has managed at least 13 points the last four games, earning praise from Kansas’ Bill Self and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo. Through eight games, Lopez leads the team in scoring, averaging 11.1 points.

Back To Normal: Both coach Kevin Baggett and junior guard Zedric Sadler attributed the team’s recent shooting woes to be away from home and not getting enough time to practice, well, shooting. While on the road — the Broncs left last Sunday to play Kansas on Monday and then went right to Orlando and didn’t get back to Lawrenceville until this Monday — Baggett said the focus was more on keeping legs fresh than getting reps. That as much as anything, the coach said, contributed to a four game stretch in which the team shot 20.7 percent from beyond the arc. Rider bounced back somewhat in the victory over CCSU, connecting on 7 of 25 from deep with six of those coming in the second half.

Shaking Things Up: Baggett made a change to his starting lineup on Wednesday, inserting Anthony D’Orazio in place of Sadler. The third-year coach wanted more punch off the bench and for one game at least it worked. Sadler scored 13 points, making 3 of 4 from deep, one game after he went 0 for 10. Expect to see the same look Sunday against Siena.

Scouting Siena: After an indifferent start for Jimmy Patsos’ club — it lost on the road to an awful Fordham team — the Saints roared past Quinnipiac in the second half Friday night for a 21-point win. Guard Marquis Wright was one of five players in double figures with 17 points. Wright and Rob Poole — the South Jersey native who got away — both average over 14 points per game. The bad news for the Saints was starting forward Brett Bisping injured his toe and won’t play Sunday.


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