Men's College Basketball
Manhattan College 62, Rider University 51
LAWRENCEVILLE- Despite 18 points from senior Jonathon Thompson (Orlando, Fla./Jones), the Broncs lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game to Manhattan Sunday afternoon.
Manhattan (6-14, 4-6 MAAC) used a zone defense that seemed to confuse Rider's offense. "A good game plan by Manhattan," said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett, "their zone forced us to struggle. We looked at it like it was some foreign object. The way that they disguised it our guards thought it was something else."
"Today they disguised their zone and we had trouble with it," Thompson said. "In the first half we were a bit confused."
Holding a 32-30 lead, Manhattan out-scored Rider 15-2, six points each by Shane Richards and Ryan McCoy, to take a 47-32 lead with 14 minutes left to play.
Richards finished with a game-high 19 points in 23 minutes off the bench, making seven of eight shots from the field, including four three-pointers.
McCoy made all three of his shots from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, finishing with eight points in 16 minutes off the bench.
As a team, Manhattan shot 52.6 percent from the field, while Rider (11-11, 6-4 MAAC) shot just 39.6 percent from the field.
Manhattan made seven of 11 three-pointers, while Rider made six of 22 three-point shots. "There were a lot of breakdowns in our press," Baggett said. "They were able to find Richards and when he's open he's going to make them. He's a good shooter and that's what he is out there for. He did a good job today."
Manhattan made 15 (of 25) foul shots compared to just seven (of 11) made by Rider.
Rider junior Anthony Myles (Dover, DE/Poly-Tech) added 10 points.
Rider out-scored Manhattan 14-7 over the final 7:42 of the first half, six points by Myles and five by Thompson, to cut the Jasper lead to 29-26 at the half. "I thought since we were only down by three at the half we would figure out some things at halftime and would come out with some momentum," Baggett said. "We started the second half with a turnover, just like we started the game, and when you do those things it certainly doesn't give you momentum."
Junior forward Rhamel Brown added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Manhattan.
Rider defeated Manhattan 69-60 on January 10. On Sunday, Manhattan never trailed. In the game at Manhattan, junior Daniel Stewart (Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti) compiled 22 points and 16 rebounds. On Sunday, Stewart was held to four points and seven rebounds.
"Stewart is a terrific player," said Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello. "We learned our lesson at our place. We weren't going to let him beat us again."
"We knew they were going to double Danny," Baggett said. "Danny needs to be more patient in those situations."
The Broncs were without the services of sophomore center Junior Fortunat (Montreal, Quebec/Roman Catholic), who suffered a concussion in practice Saturday.
Manhattan out-rebounded Rider 16-7 in the first half and 33-21 for the game. "They played with a sense of urgency and we didn't," Baggett said.
Rider had its five-game winning streak snapped Friday night and has now lost two in a row. Prior to Rider's five-game winning streak the Broncs suffered a five-game losing streak. "That scares me," Baggett said, "going back into that."
"We know how that losing streak felt and we don't want to go back to that," Thompson said. "It starts in practice. I think we'll respond for the upcoming road trip. Traditionally we've been a good team on the road."
The Broncs are 3-1 in conference play on the road this year.
Rider travels to Fairfield Friday and Marist Sunday.