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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, February 7, 2015

Rider hosts Manhattan in key MAAC game

Lawrenceville >> With seven regular-season games remaining, head coach Kevin Baggett’s Rider team is in no mood to repeat last year’s stretch run.

The Broncs were 8-4 in the league — the same mark they carried into Thursday night’s game against Fairfield — and finished 1-7, dropping all the way down to eighth place.

Rider (15-9, 9-4) escaped last time out, beating Fairfield in overtime only after the Stags called for a timeout they didn’t have, allowing Teddy Okereafor to make the winning free throws.

What that did was set up an all-important game Sunday (2 p.m., 107.7 FM The Bronc) at home against Manhattan (12-10, 9-4).

The winner moves alone into second place.

“This is a different character of guys,” Baggett said. “It’s a team that finds ways to win. It’s a team that’s pulling for one another. It’s an unselfish team. This group is different.”

The best evidence of that may have been the first meeting between these two — an 82-79 Broncs victory in OT at Draddy Gym.

In that game, Khalil Alford came off the bench to score 14 points, including two huge buckets in the extra session.

The Jaspers are playing their best ball of the season, though, having won four straight and coming off a 78-69 victory over Canisius in which they opened the second half on a 21-3 run.

“There’s seven games left, so every game going down the stretch is big,” Baggett said. “This league is good. We beat them down there and I know they want to come up here and do the same. We’ll have to find another way.

“We’ll have to sit down and defend. We’ll have to make some more shots, that’s for sure. It’s a grind from here on out. We know it. It’s the difference of a loose ball here, a free throw there or a jump shot made.”

Emmy Andujar leads Manhattan in scoring, averaging 16.1 points and seven rebounds per game. Sharpshooter Shane Richards (13.1 ppg, 37.9 percent 3s) is also a threat. He had 21 against Rider on Jan. 18.


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