Women's College Basketball
Manhattan College 63, Rider University 47
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Game
RIVERDALE, N.Y.--Junior Ali Heller (Boca Raton, Fla./St. Andrews) tied a career-high with 14 points, including 12 points from three-point range and sophomore Caitlin Bopp (Baltimore, Md./Inst. of Notre Dame) had her 15th career 'double-double' (14 points, 12 rebounds) but it was not enough as the Rider University women's basketball team lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at Manhattan on Monday evening.
"Our defense this time around was much better," said head coach Lynn Milligan who saw the Jaspers score 71 and defeat the Broncs by 28 points in Lawrenceville 11 days ago. "Tonight, we gave up too many second opportunities and those opportunities led to three-point baskets."
The Jaspers made 10 three-pointers in the game.
Manhattan (13-6, 5-3 MAAC) opened the game on a 5-0 run before sophomore Dior Brown (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) hit a layup and Bopp hit two free throws to get the Broncs within one five minutes into the game. D. Brown had two points but left the game with a shoulder injury late in the first half and did not return.
Leading 5-4, the Jaspers went on a 13-0 run to lead 18-4 with 9:55 left in the opening half before Heller hit a three-pointer to bring Rider to within 11.
Trailing 23-10, Rider (2-17, 2-6 MAAC) scored seven of the next 11, three points by Heller to cut the Jasper lead to seven (24-17) with 2:51 left in the opening half. Manhattan scored the final three points of the half and led 27-17 at intermission.
Manhattan held Rider to a season-low 4-21 shooting (19 percent) in the opening 20 minutes.
Trailing 35-22, the Broncs scored 14 of the next 22, six points by Heller and four from Bopp, cutting the Jasper lead to seven (43-36) with nine minutes remaining in the game. Heller leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.517) and was four for eight from long range in the game while pulling down a career-high five rebounds.
"Caitlin worked very hard so that we got more touches in the post this time," Milligan said. "Ali also did well in getting some open looks and also got herself to the free throw line. Overall, we just didn't get ourselves enough opportunities in the game; we gave up too many threes and didn't make enough shots."
Bopp now has five 'double-doubles' on the season and this is the fourth time in four career games against Manhattan that Bopp has posted a 'double-double'.
Leading 45-38, Manhattan put the game away with a 15-5 run, opening up an 18-point lead with 3:16 left.
Alyssa Herrington led the Jaspers with 15 points, making four three-pointers in the second half.
Manhattan finished with 21 assists on 22 made field goals, led by nine assists from Abby Wentworth. Wentworth had 11 points and added four steals in 36 minutes of play.
"Until very late in the game, we hung around and we were never really out of the game," Milligan added. "We were able to cut the lead to seven several times but never got that momentum changing run that we needed."
Also for Rider, freshman MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield (Delco)) had eight rebounds, four on the offensive glass.
The Jaspers have won five of six. Rider has lost two straight.
Bopp now has 398 career rebounds, one behind Chelsea Brown for 19th best all-time at Rider. Brown had 399 boards from 1989-1992.
This was the 32nd meeting and second in the past 11 days between Rider and Manhattan with the Jaspers winning 24 times. Manhattan won 71-43 in Lawrenceville on January 13 and swept the season series.
"We did a good job of adjusting to what Manhattan was able to do to us the first time around," Milligan said. "We took a step forward and out-rebounded them and that's a positive."
The Broncs controlled the boards 37-28 including 13-11 on the offensive glass.
Rider hosts five-time defending MAAC champion Marist on Friday, January 28 in Alumni Gym at 7pm. The Red Foxes survived a late run by Loyola Maryland Monday night to win their 13th in a row 62-52 and improve to 8-0 in the MAAC and 18-2 overall.
"Marist is playing really well right now," said Milligan. "We are going to have to execute our offense very well and be fundamentally sound. They take advantage of every mistake you make so we are going to have to limit our mistakes and be 'on-point' with our defensive assignments."