Rider Gameday: at UMass
Who: Rider (8-3) at UMass (8-3)
When: Thursday, 7 p.m., Mullins Center, Amherst, Massachusetts
TV/ Radio: None/ 107.7 FM The Bronc
Last Time Out: Rider def. North Carolina A&T, 60-59; UMass def. Kennesaw State, 95-77
Series History: UMass leads 8-0
Background: The Broncs, winners of five straight, can take the Gotham Classic title with a victory over the Minutemen. Both schools are 3-0 in the round-robin event. Rider and UMass are meeting for the first time since Nov. 12, 2010 when the Broncs coughed up a 22-point lead and allowed the Minutemen to score the biggest comeback victory in the Derek Kellog era.
Rest for the Weary: Coming off a stretch of four games in eight days, Rider was grateful for three days of rest before trekking north. The Broncs looked tired on Sunday, barely escaping NC A&T with a victory. That said, with some bounce back in their step, they’ll have a chance to beat UMass for the first time in nine tries.
Jordan MAAC Rookie of the Week: Freshman Stevie Jordan continued his excellent start to the season, picking up the weekly honor for the second time. The Bensalem, Pa., native averaged 13.3 points, eight assists and five rebounds in three victories. He also upped his season points per game total to 10, joining Jimmie Taylor (14.6), Kahlil Thomas (13.5), Xavier Lundy (11.8) and Norville Carey (10.2) to put all five Rider starters into double figures.
Scouting UMass: It’s been tough to win in Amherst for non-conference opposition. The Minutemen are 30-3 in their last 33 non-league home games at the Mullins Center, dating back to the 2011-12 season. Freshman guard Luwane Pipkins has been on a roll, earning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week after averaging 19 points in victories over North Carolina A&T and Kennesaw State. Junior guard Donte Clark is the tam’s top scorer at 14.5 points, while 6-foot-11, 310-pound sophomore center Rashaan Holloway — out of Schalik in South Jersey — anchors the frontcourt at 9.1 points and 4.9 rebounds.