Men’s College Basketball
Broncs Shuffle This Weekend
BUFFALO, NY—The Rider University men’s basketball team makes the annual trek to Western New York this weekend, taking on Canisius College on Friday night and Niagara University Sunday afternoon.
Both games can be heard live on 107.7 FM The Bronc and on your computer at www.GoBroncs.com.
Rider (7-6, 3-1 MAAC) has won five of its last seven games, but is coming off a loss at Siena on Sunday.
Canisius (9-6, 3-1 MAAC) has won three of its last five and eight of its last 12 games, and is coming off a loss at Marist on Monday. In that game Marist jumped out to an 11-point lead four minutes into the second half after leading by just one point at half time.
The Griffs are led by senior guard Billy Baron, the son of the head coach, who is averaging 21.7 points and 4.7 rebounds. Canisius is a veteran group with two other seniors, Chris Perez and Jordan Heath, combining for 21.8 points and 7.8 rebounds.
Canisius was the fifth seed and lost in the 2013 MAAC quarterfinals to the fourth seed, Iona and after two wins then lost to Evansville in the CIT quarterfinals last season, finishing with a 20-14 overall record.
The Golden Griffins were 5-25 in 2011-12, 1-17 in the MAAC.
Rider came to Buffalo on March 2, 2013 and won 65-61 in the regular season finale. In that game Zedric Sadler hit the game-winner, a three-pointer with 15 second left, and made two foul shots with 1.7 seconds left for the final score.
Since joining the MAAC Rider is 28-8 against Canisius, which includes 3-1 in postseason play. The overall series began in 1929-30 and Rider has won 30 of the 37 meetings.
Niagara (4-11, 1-3 MAAC) lost at Rider January 2 and lost at Iona January 5, and hosts Monmouth Friday before taking on the Broncs again.
When Rider recently beat Niagara 85-83 Jimmie Taylor III compiled a career-high 24 points, making 11 of 12 foul shots.
Rider won 68-59 on February 28, 2013, the last time the Broncs were here in Western New York. Rider and Niagara have met 38 times since the series began in 1991-92, with Rider winning 18, including eight of the last nine and 10 of the last 13. Since joining the MAAC, Rider is 18-15 against Niagara in regular season games. Niagara beat Rider in double overtime in the 2009 MAAC semifinals and in the 2005 MAAC Title Game.
The Purple Eagles won 19 games last year and went 13-5 in the MAAC to win the 2012-13 MAAC Regular Season Title. Niagara was upset by the fourth seed, Iona, in the MAAC semifinals and lost to Maryland in the NIT.
This year Niagara is led by junior forward Antoine Mason, who leads the nation with a 29.2 points per game average. Mason scored 31 points in the game at Rider this year.
Following this road trip the Broncs host Saint Peter’s on Thursday, January 16.