Broncs earn 71-70 road win at Canisius to open MAAC play
BUFFALO, NY – Kamila Hoskova (Brno, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium Ludvika Danka) and Stella Johnson (Denville, NJ/Morris Catholic) scored 18 points apiece as the Rider University women’s basketball team earned a 71-70 road victory to open league play Friday night at Koessler Athletic Center. With the win, the Broncs improve to 4-2 (1-0 MAAC), while the Griffs are now 1-5 (0-1 MAAC). The win is the Broncs’ first to open MAAC play since 2002-03.
Johnson did her damage on 6-of-8 shooting and 2-of-2 from long range and also had a team-high three steals. Julia Duggan (Marmora, NJ/Ocean City) also finished in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Canisius shot 51.0 percent (26-51), but Rider forced 22 Griffs turnovers.
Saliah Serrette led Canisius with 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. Sara Hinriksdottir added 15 points, while Lauren D’Hont also scored in double figures with 10 points.
Neither team could create much separation in the opening 20 minutes. Both teams took four-point leads in the first quarter, before an 8-0 Canisius run in the second quarter gave the Griffs a 27-21 lead. But Rider answered with six-straight points, including a Johnson three to retake the lead just over midway through second quarter. The Griffs retook the lead on their next possession, but Hoskova’s three at the halftime buzzer sent Rider to the locker room with a 35-34 lead.
A one-possession game for all but 16 seconds of the third quarter, the Griffs took a 54-52 lead into the fourth quarter on Hinriksdottir’s lay-up with one second left in the third. Following a Johnson lay-up to tie the game, Canisius extended to a five-point cushion when D’Hont buried a three at the 8:28 mark. But Rider immediately followed with a 12-0 run, including five points each from Duggan and Robin Perkins (Willingboro, NJ/Trenton Catholic [Saint Francis Univ.]), to take a 66-59 lead with 3:08 to play.
The Griffs whittled the lead all the way down to one on Sarah Cooley’s three with 19 seconds remaining. The Broncs then withstood a heave from just over halfcourt from Hinriksdottir to hold on for the 71-70 victory.
For the game, the Griffs outshot the Broncs, 51.0 percent (26-51) to 45.3 percent (24-53) from the floor and 84.6 percent (11-13) to 70.0 percent (14-20) from the free-throw line. Rider took a 37.5 percent (9-24) to 33.3 percent (7-21) advantage from long range. Canisius outrebounded the Broncs, 31-24.
The Broncs wrap up the MAAC’s Western New York road swing and the early portion of league play Sunday afternoon, when they visit Niagara. Tipoff from the Taps Gallagher Center is slated for 2 p.m.
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