Rider (5-4) at Siena (2-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 7, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (8,876) -- Albany, New York. Television: Time Warner Cable Sports. Home Record: Rider 2-2, Siena 0-3. Away Record: Rider 1-2, Siena 1-3. Neutral Record: Rider 2-0, Siena 1-1. Conference Record: Rider 0-0, Siena 0-0. Series Record: Siena leads, 25-12.
GAME NOTES: The Rider Broncs will begin the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference portion of their schedule on Friday night, as they pull into the Times Union Center in Albany, New York to tangle with the Siena Saints.
Rider improved to 5-4 with a 75-66 victory at Drexel last Saturday. The win was the third in four games for the Broncs, who have the second-most wins in the MAAC overall. Coach Kevin Baggett's squad got off to a rocky start to the season with losses to Stony Brook, South Carolina and SMU within the span of its first five games. Its most recent loss was a home setback courtesy of La Salle. The Broncs are averaging 69.2 ppg on 45 percent shooting from the floor, while limiting their opponents to 66.8 ppg.
Siena is riding a five-game losing streak after a 58-43 setback versus St. Bonaventure on Tuesday. The Saints also dropped decisions to San Diego (77-60), Maine (72-66), Massachusetts (64-63) and Albany (69-56) during their current string of defeats. Coach Mitch Buonaguro could have a little extra help as Rakeem Brookins, who has missed the past six games with an injury, returned to practice this week and may dress for this game. Buonaguro will have to use every option he has, as a loss would leave Siena at 2-8 on the season, equaling the worst start through 10 games in the program's Division I history.
This bout marks the 38th installment of the rivalry between these two schools. Siena holds a 25-12 edge in the all-time series after winning eight of the last 11 encounters. However, Rider was able pick up an 83-72 win the last time the teams met, which was on Jan. 29, 2012.
The Broncs rebounded from a slow start versus the Dragons to run away to a nine-point win. Rider made only 9-of-23 field goal attempts before the break, but drained 64 percent over the final 20 minutes. Drexel was held under 40 percent shooting in the contest. Forward Daniel Stewart paced the Broncs with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, while senior point guard Jonathon Thompson and junior guard Nurideen Lindsey both reached double figures as well. The team has four players averaging in double digits, led by Lindsey's 14.0 ppg. Stewart and junior swing man Anthony Myles are combining for 23.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. Thompson adds 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, and he leads the MAAC in steals.
Although the Saints ended up losing by 15 points, they trailed the Bonnies 39-28 with 12:41 left to play. SBU then closed the game on a 19-5 run to down Siena, which shot only 32.7 percent from the floor and 5-of-10 from the free throw line. Trenity Burdine led the team with 16 points and O.D. Anosike grabbed 14 rebounds in the loss. Evan Hymes is leading the team with 13.1 ppg. Anosike is a double-double machine with 12.9 points and 13.3 boards per contest. Rob Poole and the returning Brookins are both scoring just under 12 ppg.
Brookins' possible return should have an impact on this game. Rider holds the upperhand due to Lindsey, who transferred in from St. John's during the offseason. He is clearly above the normal caliber for MAAC players. If the Broncs can contain Anosike, they should be able to hand their conference rival their sixth straight loss.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rider 70, Siena 61
12/07 10:35:26 ET