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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 24, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gymnasium (2,345) -- Riverdale, New York. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Rider 4-2, Manhattan 4-2. Away Record: Rider 4-5, Manhattan 8-2. Neutral Record: Rider 1-1, Manhattan 1-0. Conference Record: Rider 5-3, Manhattan 6-2. Series Record: Rider leads,22-19
GAME NOTES: In a critical Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference battle, the Rider Broncs will contend with the Manhattan Jaspers at Draddy Gymnasium.
Rider has been off since taking down Marist last Saturday, 66-56. The win was the second in the last three games for the Broncs, who are 9-8 overall and 5-3 in conference play. They will return home to host Monmouth in their next outing.
Manhattan has also been idle since last Saturday, when it was handed a 71-67 loss on the road against Fairfield. It was a rare setback for the Jaspers, who own the best overall record in the MAAC (13-4), while tied with Quinnipiac, Canisius and Iona for first place in the conference standings (6-2). A showdown with Quinnipiac is next on the docket.
The road team has been victorious in the last four meetings between these teams, with the season series being split in each of the last two years. Rider leads the all-time series, 22-19.
Anthony Myles scored a game-high 23 points, knocking down 5-of-7 shots from beyond the arc in the process, to lift Rider over Marist last weekend. The Broncs shot 51.3 percent from the floor in the game and limited the Red Foxes to 32 percent, which made up for a 27-9 scoring deficit off of turnovers.
The Broncs can certainly fill it up. They are second in the conference in scoring (78.4 ppg) and third in field goal percentage (.454). However, they have faltered on defense, letting foes score 78.9 ppg on 47.6 percent shooting. Myles (18.8 ppg) is the leading scorer on a team that features four players averaging in double figures. He ranks fourth in the conference in scoring, while knocking down 46.2 percent of his field goal tries. Daniel Stewart (15.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is a solid second option, and Jimmie Taylor (11.5 ppg) and Zedric Sadler (10.4 ppg) provide depth.
Michael Alvarado poured in a game-high 22 points for Manhattan against Fairfield last time out, but it wasn't enough to earn a victory. The Jaspers only connected on 38.9 percent of their shots from the floor, while being outscored from beyond the arc, 27-9.
The Jaspers should have no issue keeping pace with Rider offensively as they are tied with the Broncs for the second spot in the league in scoring (78.4 ppg), although they only shoot 43 percent from the floor. However, the team has needed others to step up recently with leading scorer George Beamon (20.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg) out since Jan. 10 with a sprained shoulder. Alvarado (14.1 ppg, 3.6 apg) is the top scoring option with Beamon sidelined, a role he clearly has flourished in. Rhamel Brown (9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.5 bpg) is the next best scoring option, but he is more important on defense, leading the MAAC in blocks.
Beamon is still listed as out for this matchup, but that shouldn't stop the Jaspers from earning a win, especially if Alvarado can get a bit more help from the rest of the roster.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Manhattan 78, Rider 74
01/24 10:31:48 ET
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