Marist (7-19) at Rider (14-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 17, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gym (1,650) -- Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Marist 4-7, Rider 7-5. Away Record: Marist 2-10, Rider 5-8. Neutral Record: Marist 1-2, Rider 2-0. Conference Record: Marist 4-11, Rider 9-6. Series Record: Rider leads, 24-21.
GAMES NOTES: The Marist Red Foxes will try to regroup from a difficult loss on Friday night when they face off with the Rider Broncs in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference bout at Alumni Gym.
When Niagara's Juan'ya Green nailed a 3-pointer with just two seconds left in regulation on Friday in McCann Arena he put an end to Marist's brief two-game winning streak. The 57-54 setback dropped the Red Foxes to just 7-19 overall and 4-11 in league play. Marist, which is just 2-10 on the road, will be back at home next Saturday in a non-conference tussle with VMI.
Rider bounced back from a 78-71 loss to Iona last Saturday with a convincing 72-57 victory over last place Saint Peter's on Thursday. The win was the third in the last four outings for the Broncs who are fighting to remain relevant in the MAAC title chase at 9-6 in conference play. Rider will play its final home game of the season next Saturday in a non-league tilt with Charleston Southern.
These teams already went head-to-head earlier this month. In that battle Rider took away a 64-58 victory on the road for its 10th win in the last 11 meetings with Marist. The winning stretch has given the Broncs a 24-21 advantage in the all-time series.
Marist clawed its way back from an eight-point deficit with just over seven minutes remaining against Niagara by using a 12-4 run down the stretch to tie the game at 54-54 with 34 seconds on a Chavaughn Lewis free-throw. However the rally came up short when Green, after letting the shot clock wind down, drilled the game-winner.
The Red Foxes can take some consolation in how well they competed with the conference-leading Purple Eagles even without Devin Price (14.0 ppg) who has missed the last three games with a sprained ankle and is likely out for this contest as well. The Red Foxes still have Lewis (15.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) to rely on though his 39.5 field goal percentage on the season leaves room for improvement. On the inside Adam Kemp (9,.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.0 bpg) has been one of the more consistent big men in the conference with his ability to score efficiently, rebound and block shots. Kemp has been working on the boards almost alone though as the Red Foxes are the worst team in the MAAC on the glass (32.7 rpg). The Red Foxes also rank second to last in field-goal percentage (.410), putting in only 63.7 points per game.
Rider shot a scorching 59.1 percent from the field and knocked down 10 shots from beyond the arc to ease by Saint Peter's on Thursday. The hot shooting allowed the Broncs to overcome a 24-15 deficit in points off turnovers as did their 32-21 advantage in rebounds.
The Broncs are just a slightly more productive offensive team than Marist at 64.7 points per game on 43.6 percent shooting. The Broncs have relied a bit too much on one-on-one scoring plays as they rank at the bottom of the MAAC, and among the bottom 35 teams in the country in assists (10.4 pg). On defense Rider is solid though giving up just 64.5 points per game on 41.6 percent shooting. A trio of players are scoring in double figures for Rider led by Anthony Myles (12.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) who is also the worst shooting starter (.391 FG percentage). Jonathon Thompson (12.4 ppg) and Danny Stewart (10.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg) have been more efficient as each shoots better than 47 percent from the field. Scoring options are limited from there with Nurideen Lindsey (8.5 ppg) the only other player putting in more than 5.5 points per game.
Price was still healthy when these teams last met and Rider still earned the win on the road. With tough defense and enough balance on offense the Broncs should repeat the result this time around.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rider 66, Marist 62
02/17 10:35:45 ET