Broncs Square Off With Virginia Tech on St. Patrick's Day
GAME 33 – WNIT First Round – Friday, March 17, 2017
Rider Broncs (24-8, 16-4 MAAC) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (17-13, 4-12 ACC)
Location: Blacksburg, VA - Cassell Coliseum (9,847)
Tip: 7:00 PM
Live Stats – HokieSports.com
Live Audio – 107.7 FM The Bronc
Twitter – RiderAthletics
WNIT Bracket – 2017 WNIT Bracket
WNIT Homepage – WomensNIT.com
- Rider and Virginia Tech are meeting for the first time. Virginia Tech is headed to the postseason for the 14th time in program history, while Rider is making its first postseason appearance. The Hokies posted a 17-13 mark this season and had wins over NCAA teams Tennessee, Auburn and UNC Asheville, as well as fellow WNIT participants Georgetown, Radford, Central Florida and Wake Forest.
- Last time out, No. 2 seed Rider fell to top-seeded Quinnipiac, 81-73, in the MAAC Tournament Championship. In their first-ever championship game appearance, Rider jumped out to an early lead, but the Bobcats outscored the Broncs, 23-13, in the third quarter. Senior center Julia Duggan paced the Rider attack with 23 points and nine rebounds, while three other Broncs scored in double figures. For the game Rider shot over 41 percent (26-63), while the Bobcats knocked down 44 percent (26-58) from the field. The Bobcats won the battle of the boards, outrebounding the Broncs, 41-30. Both teams had 10 assists.
- Rider is making its first-ever appearance in a Division I postseason tournament in 2017 with its participation in the WNIT. By virtue of finishing second in the regular season in the MAAC and top-seeded Quinnipiac’s win in the MAAC Championship, Rider earns the conference’s automatic bid to the WNIT.
- Following the conclusion of the MAAC Championship on Monday evening, Duggan was named to the All-Championship Team. During the Broncs run she averaged 19.0 points and 14.7 rebounds per game with two double-doubles. She is just the second player in Rider history to be named to the MAAC All-Championship Team and the first since Patricka Smith earned the honor in 1998.
- The women’s basketball team saw four players earn All-MAAC honors as announced on Monday afternoon by the league office. Senior guard Robin Perkins landed on the first team, junior guard Kamila Hoskova was named Second Team All-MAAC, senior center Julia Duggan received third-team distinction and freshman guard Stella Johnson earned All-Rookie team honors. Perkins was the only unanimous 1st Team selection in the league and Johnson was a unanimous selection to the All-Rookie Team. Perkins is now a finalist for Player of the Year and Johnson is a finalist for Rookie of the Year.
- The four players earning All-MAAC honors is a new program record for Rider as the team saw three players receive league-wide distinction in 2012-13, 2001-02 and 1999-2000. The four players honored by the league is the most by any team in the conference this year.
- Before the Rider University women’s basketball team took the court for the MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals, the Broncs brought home a pair of major awards at the 2017 MAAC Postseason Award Show. It was an historic morning as Rider Head Coach Lynn Milligan was tabbed as the Coach of the Year and senior guard Robin Perkins was named the Player of the Year. Milligan was a unanimous selection as the Coach of the Year and Perkins became the first Bronc in program history to earn MAAC Player of the Year honors. Milligan is also the first Bronc coach to be tabbed as the MAAC Coach of the Year.
- The win in the MAAC Semifinals was the 24th of the season for Rider. That is the most victories by the Broncs under Head Coach Lynn Milligan and the most for the program since the team won 26 games during the 1981-82 season. The 24 wins against Division I opponents is the most in a single season in program history as well. The 16 MAAC wins are also the most under Milligan in a season and in program history. The team also finished above .500 in conference play for the third time since entering the league. Rider’s No. 2 seed is also the best in the program history heading into the MAAC Tournament.
- For the first time in program history, the Rider University women’s basketball team was named to the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top-25 Poll as announced by the committee on January 10. The CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top-25 is now in its seventh season of existence and is voted on by a panel of 31 coaches from across the country. The Broncs entered the poll at No. 25.
- Two weeks ago, the Broncs re-entered the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top-25 Poll at No. 24 and two weeks ago they moved up one spot to No. 23.
- Rider is 8-2 on the road in conference play this season, highlighted by a pair of one-point wins against Canisius and Siena. The Broncs have also scored double-digit triumphs versus Manhattan, Niagara, Marist, Saint Peter’s and Iona. The team had won six straight away from Lawrenceville in league play before a setback against Quinnipiac on January 21. Rider has won 13 games outside of Lawrenceville this season.
- Rider is 19-1 when leading at halftime this winter. They had won their first 11 games before the Fairfield loss on January 14. The Broncs have won four of their last six games when trailing at halftime.
- In early January, Robin Perkins sank a free throw at Siena for her 1,000th point at Rider. She is the 20th player in program history to reach the milestone. She currently has 1,150 points as a Bronc and is fourth in the MAAC in scoring with 15.5 points per game. Perkins is 10 points away from 10th-place in program history.
- Julia Duggan recorded her team-leading 12th double-double of the season in the MAAC Semifinals against Fairfield. She scored 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting to go along with 20 rebounds. The 20 rebounds were the second-most in a MAAC Tournament game in conference history. Hoskova is the only other Bronc to record a double-double this season and she has three, highlighted by two in her last seven appearances. Hoskova was one rebound shy of a double-double versus Monmouth in MAAC Quarterfinals. Duggan has recorded a double-double in five of her last six games for Rider.
- Duggan currently ranks fifth in program history with 830 career rebounds. For her career she is averaging over six rebounds per game and this season she has pulled down more than seven boards in 21 games. Duggan also has poured in over 990 career points.
- Stella Johnson has been on a tear lately on both ends of the court. She has scored in double figures in seven of her last 11 games. Johnson has also recorded five steals in three of the last 10 contests. Versus Monmouth last Tuesday, she had a career-high three blocks and against the Hawks in the MAAC Quarterfinals she had three steals. This season, she has registered four or more steals in a game nine times. Her 90 steals this season are the most by a women’s basketball player since 1981-82. Earlier in the year, she set a new program-high with eight steals in a win against Lafayette. She currently ranks third in the conference and leads all freshmen in steals with 2.8 per game.
- Rider currently ranks in the top-three in seven different statistical categories in the conference. The team is second in the MAAC in scoring margin (+5.7), turnover margin (+1.59) and field-goal percentage (.407). The Broncs are also third in steals per game (9.7), field-goal percentage defense (.375), scoring offense (65.6) and free-throw percentage (.736).
- The Broncs have three different players that rank in the top-five in the MAAC in different statistical categories. Perkins is fourth in points per game (15.5) and fifth in three-pointers made per game (2.1), Stella Johnson is third in both field-goal percentage (.498 and steals (2.8) and Duggan leads the league in rebounding (8.7). Duggan’s 12 double-doubles are also tops in the MAAC.