Women’s College Basketball
Rider Announces 2013-14 MAAC Schedule
LAWRENCEVILLE—If you missed the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Tournament last season, don't worry. Just watch the Rider Broncs during 2013-14 as seven of the 29 games will be against NCAA qualifiers.
Three NCAA qualifiers highlight the nine-game, 2013-14 non-conference Rider University women’s basketball schedule, announced by seventh year head coach Lynn Milligan.
“Our goal is the same every year,” Milligan said about the non-conference schedule. “We want to face different conferences and teams that are going to challenge us but that we feel that we can compete with.”
The 20-game Metro Atlantic Athletic schedule will begin on December 29 when Rider hosts Fairfield. Other MAAC home games include Saint Peter's on January 9, Canisius (January 12), Manhattan on January 16, MAAC newcomer and NCAA qualifier Quinnipiac on January 21 and Siena on January 24.
MAAC games in February see Iona visiting Lawrenceville on February 6, Niagara coming to town on February 9, in-state rival and MAAC newcomer Monmouth visiting Alumni Gym on February 19 and defending champion Marist wrapping up the home slate on February 21.
Five home games highlight the first part of the season with the four road games all within three hours of the Rider campus.
“The schedule kind of just fell together that way,” Milligan said about the localized tone to the non-conference schedule. “With that said, we try to balance academics and missed class time as well and we really did a good job of that by having the short road trips. Staying local and not missing class is important to us.”
Rider opens the 2013-14 season on Friday, November 8 when the Broncs travel to Easton, Pennsylvania to take on Lafayette College out of the Patriot League. Rider defeated the Leopards 68-64 last season. Lafayette finished 2012-13 with an 11-19 record.
“Lafayette is a terrific opening game challenge for us,” said Milligan. “They always have good size and that will challenge us. They are also strong in the post and our players are a year older as well so I expect it to be a close battle.”
On Sunday, November 10, the Broncs again hit the road, traveling to South Orange, New Jersey to face Seton Hall University. The Pirates went 11-20 last season but have a familiar face on their bench as former Iona head coach Tony Bozella takes over the reins of the Pirates.
“Most teams take on the characteristics of their head coach and I’m friends with Tony and I know from his Iona days that he gets his players to play hard,” Milligan said. “His Seton Hall kids will be no different; it will be a tough physical battle.”
The home opener is Thursday, November 14 when the Broncs host LIU Brooklyn (out of the Northeast Conference) in Alumni Gymnasium. The Blackbirds are coming off a 7-22 campaign in 2012-13 and it’s the first time since the 1997-98 season that LIU and Rider have faced each other in women’s basketball.
“LIU is a new opponent for us,” Milligan said. “The home opener is always a big game and having it on a Thursday night, we expect a big crowd. Our players love the challenge of playing at home and having an opponent that they have never played only adds to the excitement.”
Rider will continue a three-game home stand, hosting local rival Princeton University on Tuesday, November 19. The Tigers defeated Rider at Jadwin Gymnasium last season and are coming off a 22-win season which included an NCAA tournament appearance as the Ivy League champion.
“Princeton is a fabulous program,” Milligan said. “They always do a great job and it’s going to be a challenge. I’m glad we have them at home this year.”
Rider wraps up the home portion of the November schedule by welcoming former East Coast Conference rival Delaware to Alumni Gym on Sunday, November 24. The Blue Hens, who last played the Broncs in 1990-91, are coming off a 32-4 season in which they advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, behind the play of Elena Delle Donne who was drafted into the WNBA with the second overall pick by the Chicago Sky.
“Delaware is another terrific program,” said Milligan. “Even with Delle Donne having graduated, they are a winning program and they expect to win each time out. To have a team that has been to the Sweet 16 come to your gym is awesome. We expect another large turnout for that game.”
Rider finishes out November with a trip to Annapolis, Maryland and the Navy Classic, playing Maryland Baltimore County on the Friday, the 29th and the host Midshipmen on Saturday, November 30. The Retrievers won 10 games last season with Rider last playing UMBC during the 2008-09 season. Navy went 21-12 in 2012-13, winning the Patriot League and advancing to the NCAA tournament. Rider also last played the Midshipmen in 2008-09.
“UMBC is a disciplined team in how they run their offense so that is going to be a challenge for our defense,” Milligan said. “And Navy, they went to NCAAs and I believe most of their starting lineup is back and playing on their home floor is going to be a huge challenge for us.”
Two home games, on Saturday, December 14 (against Binghamton) and Saturday, December 21 (against Central Connecticut State) brings the non-conference schedule to a close.
“Binghamton beat us at Rider in 2010-11 and we beat them in 2011-12 on their home floor,” Milligan said. “They are an improved team and it is another solid opponent for us to play and for us to face at home. With Central Connecticut, they defeated us by one in overtime so I won’t have to say much before we play them. Our players remember that game and they feel it was one that we let slip away so it will be a kind of revenge game for us.”
The 20-game MAAC schedule, culminates with the MAAC Tournament March 6-10 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
“The MAAC is a well-balanced conference,” Milligan said. “Marist has been the best for so long and Quinnipiac was 30-3 and made the NCAAs as well. The conference has great coaches and fabulous players and every game is a battle. You have to be ready every night and you have to be battled tested to compete successfully. The conference will be balanced and hard fought. There are a lot of good teams and the addition of Quinnipiac and Monmouth only made the MAAC that much stronger.”
Rider was picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches poll announced September 11.
With 15 wins in 2012-13, Rider is coming off its best season since the Broncs went 16-12 in 1994-95.
The 15 wins were the fifth most in the 74-year history of the program and Rider tied its best Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference record and finish at 10-8, finishing fourth in the conference.
“We are excited to get things started,” Milligan added. “The team will be a year older and we have some great veterans to lead us. Our goal, as always, is to become the best team that we can be both on and off the court.”
All non-televised home games will be streamed live on BroncVision (part of MAAC.TV), the pay per view audio/video stream of Rider Athletics.
Free audio for all games, home and away, will be available on 107.7 FM The Bronc and 1077thebronc.com.
GameWatcher (LiveStats) will also be available for free on the website for all home games and most away contests.
Season ticket renewals are available by clicking the Ticket Link in this article.