The Campaign

Rider Rallies To Defeat Canisius in MAAC Play

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: February 12, 2017
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Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Junior Kamila Hoskova (Brno, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium Ludvika Danka) scored 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Rider University women’s basketball team past visiting Canisius College, 61-50, on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium. The Broncs (19-6, 13-3 MAAC) won their sixth game in a row and completed the season sweep of the Griffs (8-17, 7-9 MAAC).

“This team understands that we had to defend to beat Iona and we had to defend to beat Canisius today,” Rider Head Coach Lynn Milligan said. “Kami was a big part of getting us going in the third quarter. She does so many different things for us and does the little things for us that sometimes go unnoticed by people outside of our locker room.”

Rider erased a fourth-quarter deficit by outscoring Canisius, 29-16, over the final 10 minutes. In the fourth quarter, the Broncs shot 7-of-13 from the field and got to the foul line 21 times. The hosts also outrebounded the Griffs, 13-8, in the stanza.

Hoskova was the leading scorer for the Broncs for the second home contest in a row as she knocked down 5-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. She also added three steals for Rider. Freshman guard Stella Johnson was the other Bronc in double figures with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Johnson has scored in double figures in four straight games.

The Canisius attack was paced by Sara Hinriksdottir who scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Hinriksdottir also grabbed 12 rebounds to record a double-double. Sarah Cooley was the other Griff in double figures with 12 points.

Rider opened the game on a 4-0 run over the first two minutes of play thanks to a lay-up on the first possession of the game by senior forward Yeliz Dogan (Izmir, Turkey/Western Nebraska CC/Antalya Koleji) and a pair of free throws from Hoskova. Both teams struggled to get in rhythm on the offensive end early, combining to shoot 3-of-13 from the field with three turnovers. The Broncs led throughout the first quarter and the edge was not more than four points until Johnson hit a free throw with 47 seconds left in the stanza. Her third point of the game gave the hosts an 11-6 edge.

Canisius would answer with a free throw and Rider would come on empty on the last possession of the frame to take a four-point lead into the second at 11-7. In the opening quarter, the Broncs allowed just two made field goals and forced four turnovers.

The Griffs started the second on a 6-2 run to tie the game at 13 following a drive and score Hinriksdottir. Canisius hit three of its first four shots in the quarter and after getting a stop, the guests took their first lead of the game at 16-13 courtesy a trey from the wing from Tamara Miskovic.

Rider did not make their first basket in the quarter until freshman guard Safie Tolusso (Vevey, Switzerland/Honore d'Estinne d'Orves) knocked down a three-pointer from the wing with less than a minute remaining in the half. The shot from long range was the first for the Broncs in nearly six quarters. In the frame, Rider shot just 1-of-9 from the field and committed five turnovers, but remained close thanks to stout defense and drawing three Griff offensive fouls. 
Following Tolusso’s three, neither would score again as Canisius took an 18-17 advantage into halftime.

Back-and-forth the two squads would go in the third quarter as neither team led by more than one possession over the six minutes. Trailing by one at 27-26, Hinriksdottir hit a three-pointer and after a stop Hinriksdottir scored again this time in the post to give the Griffs a 31-27 edge.

Rider would answer with a 5-0 spurt of their own to take back the lead thanks to a Tolusso three and a put back from senior center Julia Duggan (Marmora, NJ/Ocean City).

Canisius would score the final three points in the quarter to take a 34-32 lead into the final quarter. The exciting third quarter saw three ties and six lead changes.

Rider took its first lead of the fourth on a broken play in transition as Hoskova found Tolusso who hit a three to give the hosts a 37-36 advantage. The basket started a 9-2 run for the Broncs as Rider matched its largest lead of the game to that point at five following a lay-up from Johnson to make 43-38 in favor of the Broncs.

The Broncs would stretch their lead to as many as eight with 3:12 remaining as Duggan hit a mid-range jumper to make it 50-42. Down the stretch, the Rider defense would once again clamp down. The Broncs would hold the Griffs without a field goal for a four-minute stretch late in the fourth before Hinriksdottir hit a long three to bring the guests within six at 53-47 with just over a minute left.

Rider hit their free throws late, scoring their final 11 points from the charity to complete the season sweep of the Griffs. The Broncs have now swept five conference opponents this year. Seven of Duggan’s nine points came in the fourth quarter as the senior also pulled down 11 boards. Off the bench, Tolusso provided a much-needed spark for the Broncs with nine points thanks to hitting all three of her attempts from beyond the arc.

For the game, Rider shot over 36 percent (17-47) from the field, while Canisius knocked won 33 percent (19-58) of its shots. The Bronc bench outscored the Griff reserves, 14-5. The hosts took 33 free throws compared to 13 for the guests.

Rider is now 8-1 this season when holding opponents to 50 points or less.    

The Broncs have a quick turnaround, hosting Marist on Tuesday, February 14. The contest is slated to begin at 7:00 pm and it caps a stretch of three games in five days for Rider. The Broncs are looking for the season sweep against the Red Foxes after topping Marist, 69-56, in Poughkeepsie in mid-January. 
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