Rider 69, East Stroudsburg 55 (exhibition)
Courtesy: Rider Sports Information  
Release:  11/08/2008

Ryan Thompson
Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
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Men’s College Basketball (exhibition)
Rider University 69, East Stroudsburg University 55

LAWRENCEVILLEŚ Basketball season is here, but it felt more like a rainy August afternoon.

Junior Ryan Thompson (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) compiled 17 points and seven rebounds and senior Harris Mansell (Cheltenham, Pa./Cheltenham) added 16 points to lead Rider to an exhibition victory over East Stroudsburg Saturday afternoon. “I felt like we were playing in Hawaii today,” said Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey. “The humidity in the gym was unbelievable.”

Rider jumped out to a 17-4 lead, six points by Mansell, and never trailed. “We had some great spurts,” Dempsey said.

“I think overall our hustle was good,” said Mansell, who along with his brother, sophomore Patrick, played against former Cheltenham High School teammate Pat Fleury of ESU, and the entire Cheltenham High School team and coaches were on hand to witness. “It was fun playing against my old teammate and in front of my old high school coaches,” Mansell said.

ESU went on an 18-8 run in the first half to cut the lead to 25-22 with 6:55 remaining, but that was as close as the Warriors could get. “Give Stroudsburg credit,” Dempsey said. “They competed very hard. I was impressed with their team. They found a way to hang in the game. We did just enough to keep them at arm’s length.”

Rider led 38-26 at intermission on 14 first half points by Thompson. “I was happy with the way we looked in the first half,” Thompson said. “We were kind of shaky in the second half, but that was due to a lot of cramping up. We just have to focus more.”

Rider out-scored the Warriors 13-7 in the first five minutes of the second half to take a 51-34 lead. Rider led 63-42 with 6:56 left to play.

For East Stroudsburg, Chris Bach (Levittown, PA/Truman) compiled 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Also for Rider, sophomore Matt Griffin (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep) added 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while sophomore Mike Ringgold (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) added 14 points and six rebounds. “I think Matty played well,” Dempsey said. “I was really pleased to see him take a step forward. Andy Mike had a nice game. It is important to the development of this team that Matt and Mike play well, so it was good to see them get off to a good start.”

In a hot and humid gymnasium filled to capacity, the Broncs were without several players sidelined with injuries, including sophomore Justin Robinson (London, England/Blair Academy), senior Lamar Johnson (Scranton, Pa./Scranton) and freshman Jermaine Jackson (Reading, Pa./Reading). Freshman Brandon Penn (Philadelphia, Pa./Paul Robeson) did not dress due to a violation of team rules. “We had to find a way to persevere today, being shorthanded due to injuries we had before and with some guys cramping up in the heat,” Dempsey said. “We’re not ready yet to play that short-handed.”

Rider defeated East Stroudsburg 95-78 during the 1986-87 season, the last time these two teams met in a real game. Rider and East Stroudsburg met 10 times in the series that began in 1947-48 with Rider holding an 8-2 advantage.

Rider is picked to finish third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this season after a runner-up finish last year. Rider finished 23-11 last year, the most wins ever, and tied for first place in the MAAC regular season at 13-5.

ESU was 18-10 last year, 6-6 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. ESU was picked to finish third in the PSAC this year. Senior Chris Bach (Levittown, PA/Truman) was a second team All-PSAC selection last year after ranking in the top ten in the conference in blocked shots, field goal percentage and rebounds.

The Broncs begin the 2008-09 season at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia Friday, November 14, taking on Saint Joseph’s University ay 7pm. “That should be fun,” Mansell said. “It’s a nice place, we’re playing a good team, and we get a chance to showcase what we have.”

-ru-


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