Greg Dell'Omo

Broncs to play at Northern Iowa in CIT

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: March 11, 2011
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Broncs vs. Northern Iowa in CIT

Will Play 7pm Tuesday

LAWRENCEVILLE-The Rider University men's basketball team will play the University of Northern Iowa Tuesday in Cedar Falls, Iowa in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).

This is Rider's third postseason tournament in the last four year.

"We are excited to have an opportunity to continue playing," said Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey.

UNI (19-13) is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. UNI has lost its last four games, the final three games of the regular season and lost by three points to Creighton in the MVC tournament. The Panthers are 12-4 at home, where they average 4,908 fans per game and are 9-5 in non-conference games.  UNI is led by All-District selection Kwadzo Ahelegbe, a senior point guard who averages 14.0 points per game and earned First Team All-MVC honors. In his career he is one of only three UNI players who have compiled 1,000 points, 300 rebounds and 300 assists.

The Panthers were a program-best 30-5 in 2010, finishing first in the MVC (15-3) and lost to Michigan State in the Sweet 16 of the 2010 NCAA tournament, UNI's first Sweet 16 appearance. UNI has played in five of the last eight NCAA Tournaments.

Rider (23-10) has won six of its last seven games, eight of the last 10 and 17 of the last 22 contests, reaching the semifinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship tournament for the fourth straight year.

"The reward for a great season is getting a chance to play in the post season," Dempsey said.  "Our goal was to win the MAAC tournament and represent our conference in the NCAA tournament but we came up short. The CIT now gives us an opportunity to continue to grow as a basketball team against a great field and we are thankful that we are still playing at this time of year."

The Broncs are 11-4 in away games, the third best away record in Division 1 and are 14-5 on the road, which includes a 3-1 record on neutral court.

This is the third annual CIT.  Rider competed in the first, against Liberty in 2009. That tournament featured the longest game-ending shot in Division I history, when a 75-footer at the buzzer put Bradley in the semifinals.  Last year Fairfield trailed by 27 points with 16 minutes left and defeated George Mason, the largest comeback in Division I postseason history.

Rider has been led by seniors Justin Robinson and Mike Ringgold, who have compiled 82 career wins at Rider, a program record. A First Team All-District 1 and First Team All-MAAC selection, Robinson has started 123 career games at the Rider point and during the summer is a member of Team GB, the Great Britain National Team.

Ringgold was a Third Team All-MAAC selection as a forward, and has compiled 1,382 points (14th most ever at Rider) and 786 rebounds (fifth most ever at Rider.)  This year Ringgold is averaging 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Robinson leads Rider with 15.3 points per game and ranks seventh in the nation in free throw percentage and 15th in three-point field goal percentage.  Robinson is 11th in career scoring (1,468) and seventh in career assists (391) at Rider.

The CIT is a single-elimination tournament consisting of six rounds, all on campus sites. The top four remaining seeds receive second round byes. Teams are bracketed geographically.

The First round games are March 15-16 and Second round March 18-19. Quarterfinals are March 21-22, the Semifinals are March 25 and the Championship Game is March 30.

Missouri State defeated Pacific in the 2010 CIT Title Game, with Creighton and Appalachian State losing in the semifinals.  Fairfield lost to Creighton in the quarterfinals.

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