The Campaign

Third-Quarter Run Pushes No. 2 Rider Past No. 7 Monmouth

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: March 03, 2017
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Courtesy: Stockton Photo
ALBANY, NY – Senior center Julia Duggan (Marmora, NJ/Ocean City) recorded her fourth straight double-double thanks to a 19-point, 15-rebound performance to lead the No. 2 seed Rider University women’s basketball team past seventh-seeded Monmouth, 67-51, in the MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals on Friday afternoon at the Time Union Center. The Broncs (23-7) snap a three-game conference tournament losing streak and advance to the MAAC Tournament Semifinals for the first time since 2014, while the Hawks (15-16) see their three-game winning streak come to an end.

“We had a good defensive effort today,” Rider Head Coach Lynn Milligan said. “I thought we did a good job of taking away their threes and the overall defensive effort of this team from top to bottom was as good as it gets tonight.”

Rider used a 16-0 third-quarter run to pull away and advance to the MAAC Tournament Semifinals for just the second time in program history. In the second half, the Broncs held Monmouth to 29 percent (8-27) shooting and forced eight turnovers, while maintaining a double-digit lead throughout.

Duggan’s double-double was her MAAC-leading 11th of the season. She scored a game-high 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting and pulled down 15 rebounds. It was her second double-double of the year against Monmouth.  Two other Broncs scored in double figures as both junior Kamila Hoskova (Brno, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium Ludvika Danka) and sophomore Lexi Posset (Pittsburgh, PA/Beaver Area) both poured in 14 points. Hoskova was one rebound shy of double-double and knocked down 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, while Posset hit all four of her free throw attempts and added a pair of treys off the bench.

No Monmouth player scored in double figures. Kayla Quintana paced the Hawk attack with nine points on 3-of-8 shooting.

Rider opened on a 5-0 run over the first two and a half minutes of play capped by a three-pointer from freshman guard Safie Tolusso (Vevey, Switzerland/Honore d'Estinne d'Orves) before a trey from the top of the key by Alaina Jarnot brought the Hawks to within two. Following Jarnot’s three, Monmouth would get a stop and knot the game at five after Jarnot hit a pair of free throws.

Back-and-forth the two would go in the opening frame with neither team leading by more than two possessions. During the first quarter there was one tie and six lead changes. Rider closed the scoring in the stanza as Duggan grabbed an offensive rebound and finished to give the Broncs a 13-12 edge heading into the second. Rider shot just 33 percent (5-15) early on, but took a lead thanks to forcing 10 turnovers.

Rider started the second on a 9-5 run over the first three minutes of the quarter to lead 22-17 following a three from the wing by Hoskova. The Broncs would stretch their lead to seven at 29-22 courtesy of a jumper from the foul-line extended by Posset  midway through the frame.

The Broncs would stretch their lead to 13 at 35-22 following an old-fashioned three-point play by Duggan. Monmouth would answer with five straight points to pull within single digits courtesy of a mid-range jumper from Christina Mitchell with two minutes left in the half. The Hawks would close out the scoring in the second with a stepback three by McKinzee Barker as Rider took a 38-30 edge into the break.

Rider bounced back offensively in the second, shooting over 57 percent (8-14), including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Free-throw shooting was a factor during the first 20 minutes as Rider hit 8-of-9 from the charity stripe, while Monmouth knocked down just 5-of-10.

Rider would go scoreless over the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter before a three in transition from senior guard Taylor Wentzel (Pittsburgh, PA/Baldwin) gave the Broncs a nine-point lead at 41-32. Wentzel’s three started a 16-0 run for the Broncs as four straight points from Posset would Rider a 50-32 advantage midway through the frame and after another Bronc stop, Duggan converted a three-point play to stretch the lead to 21 at 53-32.

The Rider run would close the third at 16-0 after a free throw from Hoskova as the Broncs would take a 54-32 advantage into the fourth. The two teams would combine to shoot 1-of-15 over the first five minutes of the second half. Monmouth missed all 15 of its shots from the field in the third and scored just two points on a pair of free throws coming out of halftime. The two points allowed in a quarter is the fewest under Milligan.

“We are big believers that our defense creates our offense,” Milligan added. “We get a lot of opportunities, easier shots and create mismatches if we play good defense. Everybody on our team knows that defense comes first and with good defense comes easier and better offense.”

The Hawks would miss their first 16 shots in the second half before a putback from Alexa Middleton 27 seconds into the fourth. Middleton’s basket was the first for Monmouth since late in the second quarter. Midway through the final frame, Posset knocked down a triple from the top of the key to give the Broncs a 25-point edge at 65-40.

Later in the quarter the Broncs would empty the bench and hold on for the victory.

For the game, Rider shot over 38 percent from the field (22-57), highlight by hitting 47 percent (7-15) from three-point range. The Broncs forced 18 Monmouth turnovers and held the Hawks to 33 percent (18-54) shooting.

Rider returns to action on Sunday, March 5, in the MAAC Tournament Semifinals facing the winner of tomorrow afternoon’s tilt between third-seeded Fairfield and No. 6 seed Marist.
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The Campaign