Rider (6-6) at Rutgers (8-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 28, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The RAC (9,465) -- Orlando, Florida. Television: RVision. Home Record: Rider 2-3, Rutgers 5-1. Away Record: Rider 2-3, Rutgers 2-1. Neutral Record: Rider 2-0, Rutgers 1-0. Conference Record: Rider 1-1, Rutgers 0-0. Series Record: Rutgers leads, 14-1.
GAMES NOTES: In a Garden State showdown the Rider Broncs will visit the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at the RAC on Friday afternoon.
Rider has lost back-to-back games coming into this contest after a 62-45 setback to Princeton last time out. The loss evened the Broncs' overall record at 6-6 and was the third loss in five true road games.
This is the last non-conference game of the season for Rutgers which has gotten off to a strong start at 8-2. The Scarlet Knights downed Howard, 79-55, last time out for their fourth straight victory. The Scarlet Knights have protected their home court well this year with a 5-1 mark at the RAC.
Rutgers has dominated this in-state rivalry with 14 wins in 15 matchups with Rider.
The Broncs had trouble finding their shot against Princeton and converted just 36.4 percent from the field in posting their lowest point total of the year. Rider was also on the short end of a 36-20 difference in rebounds and was outscored 44-22 on points in the paint. Anthony Myles scored 18 points to pace Rider in the loss.
Rider's scoring margin this year has been razor thin (+0.1) as the team is scoring 65.2 points per game while letting up 65.3. The Broncs have had trouble with moving the ball and have assisted on the fewest field goals in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (9.8 pg). Rider has also been subject to a deficit on the boards (-1.8). Myles (13.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) has been the most consistent scorer for the team and has rebounded well out of the backcourt. Nurideen Lindsey (11.8 ppg) is also scoring in double figures, while Jonathon Thompson (11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.5 apg) contributes across the board.
The backcourt duo of Eli Carter (20 points) and Myles Mack (20 points) propelled Rutgers to its rout of Howard last Friday. As a team Rutgers shot at an impressive 60.0 percent clip and also hit on 8-of-12 shots from beyond the arc. The Scarlet Knights also forced twice as many turnovers (18) as they committed (nine).
Carter (17.1 ppg) and Mack (15.9 ppg) have been getting it done all season for the Scarlet Knights. While Carter has been the more prolific scorer, Mack has been much more efficient in connecting on 60.2 percent of his field goal attempts. No other players on the roster is scoring in double figures, but Dane Miller (7.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Wally Judge (7.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg) have each been solid on the boards. Though Rutgers' numbers don't rank very high in the top heavy Big East, the Scarlet Knights are still scoring a respectable 74.9 points per game, while ranking third in the conference in field goal percentage (.489).
Myles has not received enough support in the backcourt this season and that will prove detrimental against Rutgers, as the tandem of Carter and Mack will be far too much for Rider to handle.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rutgers 74, Rider 63
12/28 10:32:49 ET