Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rider Wins, Sets up Rematch With Iona

When Rider plays Iona in today's 4 p.m. semifinal-round contest of the men's MAAC tournament, you try to figure out who's going to win and how the game will be played.

In their first meeting Iona earned a 100-96 victory in overtime. In the second game, 13 days later, Rider won, 61-59.

The Broncs and Gaels play again, courtesy of each's quarterfinal-round victory Saturday. Rider gets there after its impressive 79-64 win over Canisius in Saturday's late game.

"The first game neither team could stop the other," said Rider coach Tommy Dempsey. "In the second game the tempo was still pretty much the same as the first game, but the scouting reports seemed to kick in and both teams seemed to have made a lot of adjustments."

The rubber match is at hand, with a berth in Monday's 7 p.m. championship game on the line.

"We're both very familiar with each other by now," added Dempsey. "It's a matter of whose kids play better."

Both teams played well on Saturday with Iona earning a lopsided victory over Siena and Rider putting things together after falling behind 6-0 early to have a double-digit lead for most of the game's last six minutes.

The Broncs (23-9 overall this season), had five players in double figures and two others with at least eight points. Guards Anthony Myles and Justin Robinson and forward Brandon Penn each had 13 for the winners.

Elton Frazier had 17 for Canisius, which finishes at 15-15.

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