The Campaign

Rider declines national postseason tournament invitation

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: March 12, 2017
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Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – After compiling an 18-15 record, its third season of 18 or more wins in five years under Head Coach Kevin Baggett, the Rider University men’s basketball team has declined an invitation to compete in a national postseason tournament. 

“We are very thankful for the opportunity we’ve been offered to continue our season in a postseason tournament,” said Baggett. “However, after finishing the season with a short bench due to injuries, we feel that it’s best for our team to turn its focus to getting healthy and preparing for 2017-18.”

The Broncs boasted several impressive accomplishments, both this season and in the careers of its seniors. Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) moved into 10th all-time at Rider with 1,539 career points, while also finishing in the top 25 in rebounds (563) and dishing out more than 200 assists. Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) posted 12 double-doubles, became the 36th Bronc to eclipse 1,000 career points and moved into ninth all-time with 735 career rebounds. Both Taylor and Thomas were named to the All-MAAC Third Team, while freshman Stevie Jordan (Bensalem, PA/Conwell-Egan/API) earned MAAC All-Rookie Team honors after leading the league at 5.6 assists per game. 

On the strength of Thomas (8.8 rpg.) and fellow senior Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands/Red Lion Christian [Southern Miss]) (6.9 rpg.) both finishing in the top 200 in the nation in rebounds per game, the Broncs ranked 10th in NCAA Division I as a team at 40.33 rebounds per game.

Rider finished the regular season with wins in each of its last three games to clinch the No. 6 seed in the MAAC Championships. An impressive 103-85 road victory over eventual MAAC Tournament Champion Iona started the streak, which ran to four-straight with a thrilling 69-68 MAAC Championship First Round win over Manhattan on Taylor’s contested three-pointer with four seconds left in regulation. 

With the win over Iona and a 93-90 overtime win at regular-season champion Monmouth, Rider became the only team in the MAAC to defeat the Gaels and Hawks on the road in the same year since Monmouth joined the MAAC in 2013-14.   
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The Campaign