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Baggett Era Begins In Broncs' Zoo
LAWRENCEVILLE-The Kevin Baggett era begins this Friday night when the Rider University men's basketball team hosts Robert Morris University in the 2012-13 season opener.
The 7pm tip in the newly refurbished Alumni Gymnasium can be seen on the BroncSportsNetwork, with live video streaming on BroncVison and live stats on GameViewer.
Tickets can be purchased online by clicking the "TicketLeap" link in this story or in person on game day at the ticket window in the lobby of Alumni Gymnasium. The ticket booth will open on 5:30 p.m. for Friday's game.
Rider defeated Robert Morris eight of the ten meetings when the two were Northeast Conference rivals in the mid-1990s, but the Colonials have enjoyed a recent run of success and the Broncs lost at RMU by 26 in the 2011-12 opener.
The Colonials have advanced to the NEC Title Game the last four years, winning it in 2009 and 2010, and won two games in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason tournament last year. RMU finished 26-11 last year and returns its top five players.
Over the last 16 years Rider has won 13 home openers and is 150-57 in the Broncs' Zoo.
First year head coach Baggett, now in his seventh year at Rider, has seven new faces on his roster, but returns two starters from last season, senior point guard Jonathon Thompson and junior forward Daniel Stewart.
Stewart and sophomore center Junior Fortunat combined for 29 points and 21 rebounds in the exhibition win over nationally ranked Division III Scranton last weekend. Stewart has over 600 points and 450 rebounds in his first two Rider seasons.
Thompson is a veteran of 94 Rider games and has compiled 267 assists and just 139 turnovers.
Junior swing man Anthony Myles also returns. Myles began last year with back-to-back 20-point games at Robert Morris and in the eight-point loss at Pitt to begin the season.
The offense will be bolstered this year with the addition of junior guard Nurideen Lindsey. The former Overbrook High School star from Philadelphia started the first nine games of the 2011-12 season wearing a St. John's uniform before transferring to Rider for the spring semester.
At half time Friday night Rider will honor the outstanding achievements from the 2011-12 academic school year with the annual Night of Champions ceremony.
Rider begins the season with three home games, hosting Stony Brook as part of the ESPN Tip Off Marathon on November 13, and Monmouth Saturday afternoon, November 17. The Stony Brook game is a nationally televised "White Out" with a 6 a.m. tip.
When the Broncs finally hit the road they really hit the road, traveling to South Carolina, Texas and Mexico in the Hoops for Hope Classic. Rider takes on the USC Gamecocks November 19 and the SMU Mustangs November 21 before spending Thanksgiving in Puerto Vallarta.
Rider returns to Alumni Gym to host La Salle November 29 on Academic Achievement Night.
The Baggett era begins in the Broncs' Zoo Friday.