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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 17, 8:30 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Yanitelli Center (2,800) -- Jersey City, New Jersey. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Rider 4-3, St. Peter's 3-6. Away Record: Rider 3-6, St. Peter's 3-4. Neutral Record: Rider 2-0, St. Peter's 0-0. Conference Record: Rider 4-2, St. Peter's 1-5. Series Record: Rider leads, 27-24.
GAME NOTES: The Rider Broncs look to climb back over the .500 mark when they visit the Yanitelli Center for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tilt with the Saint Peter's Peacocks.
Rider has rebounded from a five-game skid by winning each of its last three contests. The latest of those victories came against defending MAAC champion and preseason favorite Loyola-Maryland Sunday afternoon in a 64-57 final. Following tonight's game, the Broncs will return to Lawrenceville, New Jersey to begin a three-game homestand against Iona on Sunday.
On the other side of the floor, Saint Peter's is looking to avoid a season- long five-game losing streak. The Peacocks were also in action this past Sunday, dropping a 66-53 decision at Siena. Thanks to their recent slide, the Peacocks entered the week tied with Marist at the bottom of the MAAC standings.
Rider leads the head-to-head series, 27-24.
The Broncs dialed up the defensive pressure in Sunday's victory, holding Loyola to 33.3-percent shooting from the floor and a 3-of-19 effort from beyond the arc (.158). Rider led by as many as 11 with seven minutes to play before Loyola made a run, but the Broncs made seven of eight foul shots in the final two minutes to seal the outcome. Daniel Stewart and Jonathon Thompson shared team-high scoring honors with 23 points apiece, while Anthony Myles finished with 10. The Broncs rely on sound defense and balanced scoring, as they have held foes to 40.6-percent shooting from the floor and only 28.2- percent shooting from long range. Myles is scoring 12.6 points per game to pace four players averaging double figures. Stewart (11.4 ppg) paces the squad in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and is also an 81-percent free-throw shooter.
Whereas Rider received 20-plus points from two different players in its last outing, those types of scoring contributions have been few and far between for the Peacocks, who shoot just 41.4 percent as a team, while averaging 60.7 points. Desi Washington leads the way with 15.3 ppg, albeit on just 39.5- percent shooting. Yvon Raymond is the team's only other double-figure scorer, averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds. In fact, the Peacocks have failed to reach the 60-point mark in any game during the current four-game slide. After trailing by nine at halftime against Siena, they opened the second half with a 14-3 spurt before the Saints eventually seized control. Washington finished with 16 points and three steals, but Saint Peter's was unable to overcome 19 turnovers.
Credit the Broncs for turning their season around of late, although their work is hardly finished. They match up well here, but they can ill-afford to give Washington too many open looks as he can ignite the home crowd in a hurry.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rider 61, Saint Peter's 57
01/17 10:35:34 ET
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