Saint Peter's (8-16) at Rider (13-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 14, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gym (1,650) -- Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: SPC 5-7, Rider 6-5. Away Record: SPC 3-8, Rider 5-8. Neutral Record: SPC 0-1, Rider 2-0. Conference Record: SPC 3-11, Rider 8-6. Series Record: Rider leads, 28-24.
GAME NOTES: The Saint Peter's Peacocks step into Alumni Gym to take on the Rider Broncs in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup.
It has been a rough season for Saint Peter's, although the team has split its last four contests after winning just one of its first 10 MAAC games. The Peacocks put forth perhaps their strongest effort of the season against Siena on Sunday, as they notched a 72-62 victory on their home floor. The Peacocks will wrap up the regular season by playing four of their final five games on the road.
Meanwhile, Rider is looking to rebound from Saturday's 78-71 setback at Iona. The Broncs had strung together five straight wins in the early part of January, but they have since dropped four of six. They have a chance to right the ship with three of their next four games coming at home.
Rider was a 66-54 road win over Saint Peter's when these teams met up on Jan. 17, and the Broncs lead the all-time series, 28-24.
After trailing by seven at halftime against Siena, SPC won the second half by a 40-23 margin, thanks largely to a 17-of-21 effort at the free-throw line. Leading scorer Desi Washington (14.5 ppg) spearheaded the comeback by going a perfect 10-of-10 at the charity stripe over the final 20 minutes. He also went 4-of-5 from 3-point range and finished with a game-high 24 points. Chris Burke (four steals) and Darius Conley (seven rebounds) chipped in with 11 points apiece in the victory. Defensively, the Peacocks forced 19 turnovers and held Siena to 39.6-percent shooting from the floor. They also limited O.D. Anosike, the nation's leading rebounder, to two points in the second half after he scored 14 in the opening frame. SPC has little choice but to rely on such defensive efforts, as the team is shooting just 40.7 percent from the floor while posting only 59.7 points per game.
Three players are averaging double figures in the scoring column for Rider, led by Anthony Myles with 12.5 ppg. Myles has knocked down a team-high 44 3- pointers (.367) and is also pulling down 4.8 rebounds per tilt. Jonathon Thompson is next in line with 12.3 ppg, followed by Daniel Stewart, who is tallying 11.2 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game. Rider and Iona both shot 50 percent from the floor in Saturday's matchup, but the Gaels shot 21-of-26 from the free-throw line, while the Broncs were just 10-of-17. Iona's starting backcourt of Lamont Jones and Sean Armand torched the Broncs for a combined 56 points. Thompson paced Rider with 26 points and five assists in the loss. Myles joined him in double figures with 19 points, as he and Thompson combined to shoot 8-of-19 from the perimeter.
The Peacocks have certainly been playing better of late, but the team has not won consecutive games since starting the season 3-0. That is not likely to change here against a Rider squad that will be eager to atone for Saturday's poor showing.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rider 73, Saint Peter's 67
02/14 10:35:21 ET