Women’s College Basketball
Broncs Open at Lafayette Friday
EASTON, PA—The 2013-14 Rider University women’s basketball season begins Friday with a 7pm game at Lafayette.
“Lafayette is a terrific opening game challenge for us,” said head coach Lynn Milligan, who guided her sixth Rider team to its most successful year since the 1994-95 season with 15 wins last year. “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.”
The Leopards are coached for the fourth season by Dianne Nolan, who spent 28 years as the head coach at conference-rival Fairfield. Nolan has 547 career wins, which ranks among the top 20 active Division I coaches.
Lafayette returns all five starters and 11 letterwinners in all from the team that went 11-19 last year, including 6’3” junior forward Emily Homan. Homan was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year as a freshman and last year she averaged 10.9 points and 7.1 rebounds. Against Rider she compiled 18 points.
Rider won 68-64 at Lafayette last year. That was the 30th meeting all-time between these former East Coast Conference rivals. Rider defeated the Leopards 64-56 in Alumni Gym to open the 2011-12 season. Despite Rider winning four of the last five meetings, Lafayette holds a 20-10 advantage in the series that began in 1973-74.
Rider has won its last two season openers and four of its last six.
This year the Broncs will be led by one of the top players in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, senior forward MyNeshia McKenzie of Springfield, Pa. (Springfield Delco).
“If MyNeshia plays the way she is capable of and continues to progress and improve as much as she has her first three seasons, this will be a special year for her,” Milligan said of her All-MAAC and Second Team All-MET forward.
Other key Broncs include guard Lashay Banks of Philadelphia (Prep Charter), a transfer from Cincinnati who was the 2010 Philadelphia Public League Player of the Year before playing 45 games for the Bearcats.
Rider returns junior guard Emily Fazzini of Wayne, Pa. (Archbishop Carroll), who was second on the team last year in three-pointers and fourth in scoring and steals, sophomore guard Manon Pellet of Marselle, France and junior center Marritta Gillcrease of Pittsburgh, Pa.
The radio for all away games will once again be broadcast on 107.7 FM The Bronc and streamed on-line at 1077thebronc.com and GoBroncs.com with Jeff Nolan, Dick Wiseman, Dave Polaski and Jon Mozes bringing you all of the action.
Following the Lafayette game Rider travels to Seton Hall November 10 and plays the home opener November 14 against LIU Brooklyn.