Rider (11-17) at Albany (16-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: SEFCU Arena (4,538) -- Albany, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Rider 6-5, Albany 9-3. Away Record: Rider 5-9, Albany 5-10. Neutral Record: Rider 0-3, Albany 2-0. Conference Record: Rider 8-8, Albany 8-7. Series Record: Rider leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The annual BracketBuster series continues tonight in Albany, when the Great Danes host the Rider Broncs in a non-league affair at SEFCU Arena.
Rider owns a lackluster 11-17 overall ledger this season, and come into this meeting in the midst of a two-game skid. The Broncs are an even 8-8 in league action, and most recently fell, 75-62, in a MAAC affair against Iona on Wednesday night.
As for Albany, wins have been a bit elusive for the Great Danes as of late, as the squad has dropped four of their last five to fall to 16-13 overall on the year. The Great Danes most recently found themselves on the wrong side of a tightly-contested 50-47 final against Vermont, which left them with an 8-7 tally to America East slate.
Rider defeated the Great Danes, 52-42, back on March 6th, 1958, in the only other meeting between the two programs on the hardwood.
The Broncs owned a 37-32 lead heading into the break against Iona, but things fell apart in the second half for Rider, as the club shot at a meager 33.3 percent clip from the field that included just 3-of-13 from beyond the arc. The Broncs were outscored, 43-25, during the frame, as Iona shot 45.5 percent from the floor. For the game, the Broncs hit just 42.0 percent from the field and committed a game-high 19 turnovers that turned into 20 Iona points. Anthony Myles scored 21 points to lead the way for Rider, while Jonathon Thompson and Brandon Penn netted 10 points apiece in a losing effort. The Broncs net a healthy 72.1 points per game this season, but have also allowed 75.4 ppg to their opponents as well. Still, the club is shooting at a solid 44.9 percent clip as a team, a mark that includes a respectable 36.9 percent mark from three point range and is in addition to a 71.3 percent conversion rate at the foul line. Rider owns five players with a double-digit scoring average, with Jeff Jones leading the way with 12.9 ppg. Penn follows closely behind (12.5 ppg), while Daniel Stewart registers 11.7 points to go with a team-best 6.9 rebounds per contest. Myles and Novar Gadson round things out, chipping in 10.2 ppg apiece, while Thompson has compiled 129 assists through 28 outings.
Albany netted just 36.2 percent of its attempts from the field in the three- point loss to Vermont, a mark that included 7-of-19 from three-point range. Mike Black scored 16 points to pace the Great Danes, while Jayson Guerrier added 13 points and Blake Metcalf pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds. Albany got to the charity stripe only 10 times during the meeting and made good on just six of those opportunities, and the squad was guilty of a game-high 12 miscues during the meeting as well. As far as the season goes, the Great Danes owe a lot to their defensive play, which has limited the opposition to a meager 61.5 ppg through a 41.5 percent shooting clip. Albany has forced their adversaries into 362 giveaways (an average of 12.9 per contest), and the club owns a 34.5-32.1 advantage on the boards as well. At the other end of the court, the Great Danes have netted 67.3 ppg on 44.4 percent from the field as a team, and own three players with a double-digit scoring average. Four McGlynn paces the squad with an 11.8 ppg tally, while Matt Glass checks in with an 11.3 ppg mark. Luke Apfeld rounds out the trio with his 10.5 ppg contribution, while Brian Voelkel leads the way on the glass with 8.2 rpg.
Give the edge to Albany here, especially at home. The Great Danes have the size advantage, and play a particularly aggressive and stingy form of defense the likes of which the Broncs have not encountered much this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Albany 70, Rider 62
02/18 10:46:07 ET