Marist enters this game with MAAC foe Rider with a record of 5-17 (2-9). Rider is also below .500 on the year but they have a winning record in conference play. Here are some things to watch for when they tip off at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday in the McCann Arena.
Nickname: The Broncs
Location: Lawrenceville, NJ
Head Coach: Kevin Baggett
Leading Scorer: Anthony Myles 12.0 ppg
2011-2012 record: 14-19, (10-8)
Record so far this year: 11-12 (6-5)
Both team’s are coming off loses on the road and will be eager to get the taste of defeat out of their mouths. Rider fell to Fairfield 69-59 this past Friday, while Marist took a heart-wrenching 2 point loss in overtime at St.Peter’s. Both squads have 8 games remaining in the regular season and Rider is looking to move up from their fifth seed in the MAAC. Marist on the other hand is striving to make a late push to avoid taking part in the opening “play-in” round of the conference tournament.
If Rider is able to shoot up the standings it will be on the shoulders of their talented junior duo of Anthony Myles and Daniel Stewart. Myles and Stewart are the only Broncs to start in every game this year for coach Baggett. Myles is the team’s leading scorer at exactly 12 ppg while Stewart is less than a ppg behind at 11.2. Myles is a volume shooter who jacks up an average of 9.7 shots per game. Stewart on the other hand is a very efficient scorer at 7.3 shots per game and gets to the free throw line often. In their loss to Fairfield, Stewart took a game high 13 attempts from the line while sinking 10 of them.
Stewart leads the team in rebounding as well at just over 6.5 per game but he is not the only presence down low for the Broncs. Dera Nd-Ezuma is the last line of defense for Rider. Nd-Ezuma is a 6-10 import from Nigeria who blocks shots like he’s mad at them. In 23 games Nd-Ezuma has over a block a game and a physique that is rarely seen in the MAAC.
Fortunately for Marist, they have a 6-10 intimidator of their own in junior center Adam Kemp. Rarely does an opposing team have a player that is Kemp’s equal in size but he will certainly have his hand’s full with Nd-Ezuma. Kemp had 4 blocks in the loss to St. Peter’s the other day and is second overall in the conference with 1.7 blocks per game. #50 is also third in the MAAC with 8.2 rebounds per game.
While both team’s are equal in size at the center position the same cannot be said for the back-court. Rider’s Nurideen Lindsey and Jonathon Thompson have a combined 8 inches on Marist starting guards Devin Price and Isaiah Morton. Thompson is averaging 1.7 steals per game and Price/Morton will need to utilize their quickness to counter-act his ability to smother the man with the ball.
Marist also has a ball hawk on the court in sophomore guard/forward Chavaughn Lewis who is tied for the conference lead in steals at 2 per game. Lewis is also the Red Foxes leading scorer at 15 ppg and had 23 against St. Peter’s.
This will not be an easy game for the foxes to pull out even with the home court advantage. Rider is in the top half of the MAAC while Marist is sitting in the basement. It has been a puzzling season for Marist as this is their most talented group is recent years yet it hasn’t showed up in the win column. Looking at the records it would seem Rider is on their way to a 7th conference victory, but that’s why they play the games. Time is running out on the season and it will be interesting to see how Marist responds.
Marist Probable Starting Line-up Fairfield Probable Starting Line-up
#11 Isaiah Morton 5-8 Guard #11 Nurideen Lindsey 6-3 Guard
#0 Devin Price 6-1 Guard #5 Jonathon Thompson 6-4 Guard
#40 Chavaughn Lewis 6-5 Guard/Forward #10 Anthony Myles 6-5 Guard
#35 Phillip Lawrence 6-7 Forward #13 Daniel Stewart 6-7 Forward
#50 Adam Kemp 6-10 Center #21 Dera Nd-Ezuma 6-10 Center