The Rider University Broncs lost a tough game by the score of 66-62 on Wednesday night against their in-state rivals, Rutgers University. The Broncs led 36-28 at the half, but the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers shot very well in the second half. With the score tied at 60-60 with under a minute remaining, Rutgers guard Earl Pettis knocked down back-to-back three's to make the score 66-62.
In the loss, Rider did get a glimpse into the future of the program. Star players Ryan Thompson and Harris Mansell are expected to score as they two of the veteran players on this somewhat young Rider Broncs team.
With current Sacramento King Jason Thompson in the middle last season, sophomore Mike Ringgold did not get to shine during his freshman season. But this year, Ringgold has an opportunity to be a special player.
Rider basketball fans saw how special Ringgold can be on Wednesday night. In the first half, Ringgold had 10 points to go along with nine rebounds and he finished with 22 points and 12 boards, good for his first double-double of the season.
Going inside the numbers, Ringgold worked hard for his points inside. Then 6'7" forward from Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia made quite a few nifty post-up moves going up against the Rutgers frontcourt of 6'9" Gregory Echenique and 6'11" Hamady Ndiaye. At the 5:14 mark in the second half, Ringgold made a nice spin move and put in a reverse layup to give Rider a 54-53 lead at the time. Then, after Rutgers took the lead 63-62 with under a minute remaining, Ringgold cut to the basket, received a pass from Ryan Thompson and threw down a thunderous dunk.
Ringgold is a fast, athletic big man, something that does not come around too often at the Mid-Major level. Keep in mind that Ringgold is only a sophomore and has two more years in the Rider program after the 2008-2009 campaign. The future is bright for head coach Tommy Dempsey and the Rider Broncs with plenty of young talent and a budding frontcourt star in Ringgold.