The Campaign

Second-Half Surge Leads Rider Past Manhattan

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: January 26, 2017
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Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Senior guard Robin Perkins (Willingboro, NJ/Trenton Catholic [Saint Francis Univ.]) scored a game-high 23 points and added seven rebounds to lead the Rider University women’s basketball team past visiting Manhattan, 73-64, on Thursday evening in MAAC play at Alumni Gymnasium. The Broncs (14-6, 8-3 MAAC) sweep the season series against the Jaspers (6-14, 2-9 MAAC) with the victory.

“That third quarter today, that’s Rider basketball,” Head Coach Lynn Milligan said. “Anytime you win in the MAAC, it’s a great win. This is a tough league and every night is a challenge, particularly the second time through. All the work that we’ve done since July, we can’t become satisfied or complacent. We need to realize what we’ve done to get to this point and take it to another level.”

Perkins knocked down 9-of-18 shots from the field, including three shots from beyond the arc, while her seven rebounds tied a season-high. Classmate Julia Duggan (Marmora, NJ/Ocean City) had a solid game for the Broncs, scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds. It marked the 11th time this season that Duggan had seven or more rebounds in a game. Junior Kamila Hoskova (Brno, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium Ludvika Danka) was the other Rider player in double figures with 13 points thanks to a 5-fo-6 showing at the charity stripe.

It was a two-headed attack for the Jaspers as Amani Tatum and Kayla Grimme combined for 29 points. Grimme posted a double-double thanks to a 15-point, 15-rebound performance and Tatum poured in 14 points thanks to knocking down 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.

The difference in the game proved to be the third quarter as Rider outscored Manhattan, 22-13, in the frame and held the guests to just 33.3 percent (5-15) shooting. This season, the Broncs have outscored the opposition, 183-152, in the 10 minutes after halftime.  

It was a defensive struggle early as neither time was able to score over the first 4:44 of action. The Broncs held the Jaspers scoreless on their first 10 possessions of the game and Perkins got the first basket of the day as she tipped in her own lay-up attempt almost five minutes into play. The guests would counter with an 8-0 run capped by a steal and lay-up in transition by speedy guard Gabby Cajou with just over two minutes left in the frame. Five unanswered points from Perkins brought Rider to within one at 8-7 before the two teams traded lay-ups to end the quarter as the hosts trailed, 10-9, after 10 minutes.

Early in the second quarter, the Jaspers caught hot from deep, hitting a trio of three-pointers to build a 21-16 advantage following a trey from Nyasha Irizarry. With a five-point deficit at 23-18, the Broncs pulled to within one at 23-22 following an offensive rebound and put back by freshman guard Stella Johnson (Denville, NJ/Morris Catholic). Manhattan would answer with four straight points thanks to a pair of free throws by Tatum and a turnaround jumper in the paint by Grimme. With less than 10 seconds remaining in the half, the two conference foes traded free throws as the guests took a 29-24 lead into the break.

Rider had an inbounds play at half court with .7 seconds left, but Johnson’s jumper that banked in was waved off. After a slow start, the Broncs hit 50 percent (6-12) of their shots in the second quarter. Both teams had their issues with giveaways in the second, combining for 13 turnovers.

The Broncs opened the second half on a 9-2 run over the first 2:30 of play capped by a Perkins three from the corner to take a 33-31 lead. After the Jaspers knotted the game at 33, Rider reeled off an 8-0 run capped by Johnson three from the wing to take a 41-33 lead with five minutes left in the third. Manhattan would battle back with a spurt of its own to make it a one-possession game at 44-42 following a jumper in the paint from Taylor Williams. Rider freshman guard Safie Tolusso (Vevey, Switzerland/Honore d'Estinne d'Orves) would score in transition for the final points of the frame as the hosts took a 46-42 edge into the fourth.  Tolusso had another strong game off the bench for Rider, scoring a career-high 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting.

Rider came out strong in the final stanza, opening the quarter on a 16-0 run over the first six minutes of play as a nice post move and left-handed lay-up by Duggan from the block gave the Broncs a 62-42 edge. During the spurt, the Jaspers missed their first six shots from the field and committed four turnovers. Manhattan scored its first point of the quarter from the free-throw line as Tatum knocked down a pair with 3:55 left in the game.  

Manhattan pulled to within 12 at 65-53 following a four-point play by Maeve Parahus with two minutes left in the game. With the reserves on the court, Rider would knock down its free throws and hang on for the conference win.

For the game, Rider shot just under 43 percent from the field (27-63), while Manhattan hit 34 percent (21-62) of its shots. Both teams hit five shots from three-point range and Rider held a 42-38 advantage on the boards. The Broncs had a decisive edge in points in the paint, outscoring the Jaspers by 14 (36-22).

The win was the second this season for the Broncs in league play when trailing at halftime. Rider has not dropped back-to-back MAAC game this year and has a 4-0 mark in conference games after a loss. The victory was also the third straight for Rider against Manhattan.

Rider returns to action on Saturday, January 28, with a home MAAC showdown against Saint Peter’s that is slated to begin at 2:00 pm. The Broncs are looking to sweep the season series with the Peacocks for the second year in a row. The tilt is part of the Rider women’s basketball Alumni Day. 
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The Campaign