Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rider, Loyola Both Earn CIT First-Round Victories

The Tournament (CIT) got off to a successful start for two MAAC teams participating in the event.

Both Loyola (a 70-63 winner over Boston University), and Rider (a 63-54 winner over Hartford) advanced in the event.

Loyola will get a second home game, hosting a round of 16 game Sunday at 3 p.m. Because the CIT is an unbracketed event, the Greyhounds' next opponent won't be determined until after Wednesday's games.

Rider, which won its first-round contest at Hartford, is expected to be on the road again for its second-round contest and won't learn its next opponent or game site until after Wednesday's games.

Junior guard Anthony Miles led the Broncs with a career-high 23 points.

"Anthony drove the ball, got to the free throw line and was just a good all-around player," said Rider coach Kevin Baggett, afterwards.

The postseason victory was the first for Rider since the program won twice in the 1957 NCAA tournament.

"It's not the NCAA tournament (this time), which is where we want to be at this time of year and in the years to come," Baggett added. "But, we're certainly glad to be playing in the postseason. And, if we're going to be playing this time of year I want us to win."

Rider had rally from a 48-47 deficit midway through the second half and did with a 10-2 run that put the Broncs on top, 57-50, with 2:38 remaining. The winners (19-14 overall) made all eight of their free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory.

It was Hartford's first postseason appearance since making the jump to Division I for the 1984-85 season.

Rider is playing in its fourth postseason tournament in the last six years, having appeared in the CIT in 2011 and 2009 and the CBI in 2008.

Loyola got a boost in its game against Boston University when junior guard Dylon Cormier broke loose after being held scoreless for the game's first 29 minutes, possibly helped by some halftime prodding.

"I said `Dylon, they're wearing your jersey (in the stands) and you have no points,' " Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos told reporters afterwards. "He said 'I got it.' "

Cormier still didn't score until the game's final 11 minutes, but he scored all 16 of his points down the stretch to help Loyola (22-11 overall) erase a 15-point second-half deficit.

Cormier's first basket of the game was a 3-pointer with 10:58 remaining and ignited a 29-7 run in which Cormier made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:16 left in the contest.

Teammate Robert Olson also scored 16 points for the winners.

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