Rider 69, Manhattan 60
Rider University 69, Manhattan College 60
Broncs Boffo Off Broadway
RIVERDALE, NY-- Just a few miles from the bright lights of Broadway, the Rider Broncs performed under the bright lights of ESPN3 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference National Game of the Week.
The critics raved. Two thumbs up!! Four Stars!! Bravo Broncs!!
Junior Daniel Stewart (Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti) and junior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech) each compiled a 'double-double' to lead Rider to victory over Manhattan in off Broadway play Thursday night.
"Danny and Anthony were great," Rider head coach Kevin Baggett said of his headliners. "We were able to get the ball down low to Danny and he either made the basket (seven for 11 from the field) or he went to the foul line (eight for eight). I can count on him. It was big of Anthony to help out and get some big rebounds."
Stewart compiled 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for his second 'double-double' of the season, while Myles added 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
"We trust Danny," said Myles. "We don't hesitate to get him the ball in low."
"I was just trying to play hard," said Stewart. "My teammates were able to get me the ball in good spots on the floor."
In the play's climax, Rider (8-9, 3-2 MAAC) made eight of 12 foul shots in the final 1:12, five by senior Jonathon Thompson (Orlando, Fla./Jones), to preserve the victory. Thompson finished with eight points, all from the foul line, and four rebounds.
In the second act Rider led 49-39 before Manhattan (4-11, 2-3 MAAC) went on a 14-5 run, four points each by CJ Jones and Rhamel Brown, to cut the lead to 54-53 with 4:31 left to play, but that was as close as the Jaspers could get.
Brown finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Jones added 11 points.
"Manhattan was very tough to play here," Baggett said. "They made some good adjustments in the second half to cut the lead to one. Our guys were resilient to hang on."
Once Manhattan cut the lead to one, Stewart scored the next five points to give Rider a 59-53 lead. "I just tried to get to the glass and help our team any way possible," Stewart said.
"Manhattan gave us a scare but we were able to hold on and now we're just looking to get this turned around," Myles said.
The first act began a little slow, with Rider holding a 2-0 lead at the first media time out and Manhattan led 8-4 eight minutes into the game.
The game featured 51 fouls. "They were calling them both ways," Baggett said. "The players just have to adjust to it. I had to go to the bench but I trust Zedric and Shawn. Those guys gave me some quality minutes. Zed is a gamer."
Rider out-rebounded Manhattan 48-32.
The Broncs led 28-20 at intermission on 13 points and 11 rebounds by Stewart.
Trailing 13-10, Rider out-scored Manhattan 10-0, seven points by Stewart, to take a 20-13 lead with 3:57 left in the first act.
Rider has now won five of its last six games in Manhattan's Draddy Gym. Since Rider joined the MAAC, the Broncs are now 21-12 against the Jaspers.
The Jaspers were forced to use several understudies, as two key members of their cast, senior forward George Beamon (16.8 ppg, 6.3 rebounds) and junior guard Michael Alvarado (8.4 ppg, 2.3 assists), were off in the wings with ankle injuries.
"I know they were short tonight but they really defended well and they battled," Baggett said of the Jaspers.
The Broncs return home for a command performance in Alumni Gymnasium, hosting Loyola Sunday afternoon with curtain at 2pm.
The play's the thing.