Women’s College Basketball
Princeton University 75, Rider University 62
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ— Seven score and 10 years ago today, one of the greatest speeches of all time was delivered at a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania battlefield.
On Tuesday night, seven Broncs scored 62 points on just 29 percent shooting.
Rider senior MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield-Delco) compiled 19 points and 10 rebounds, and junior Lashay Banks (Philadelphia, PA/Prep Charter) also scored 19 points and had six steals, but it was not enough to beat the powerful Princeton Tigers Tuesday night.
150 years ago President Abraham Lincoln gave an address dedicating a cemetery. Tuesday night Rider head coach Lynn Milligan gave a half time speech when she felt she needed to address a few things.
Rider (1-3) scored the first nine points of the second half, four by Banks and three by junior Emily Fazzini (Wayne, PA/Archbishop Carroll), to cut the Princeton lead to 47-41 with 17:12 left to play.
“We challenged them at half time,” Milligan said. “When you give up 47 in a half on your home court certain things have to be said to get things going the right way. We came out knowing we were a better defensive team than what we showed in the first half.”
Fazzini finished with 11 points and four rebounds.
Rider out-scored Princeton in the second half. “It was a tale of two halves,” Milligan said. “The second half we defended better.”
Holding a 52-43 lead, Princeton (2-1) went on a 10-1 run, five points by Blake Dietrick, to take a 62-44 lead with 10:30 left to play. Dietrick finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Kristen Helmstetter added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers.
A 7-0 run, six points by Banks, cut the Princeton lead to 10, 64-54 with 5:45 remaining.
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A dozen years later, Rider’s defense went down the drain in the first half. “The first half we did not defend anything,” Milligan said. “Just way too many easy buckets. You can’t give a good team like Princeton that many opportunities. They were shooting lay ups.”
Princeton, the four-time defending Ivy League champion, was coming off an 81-58 win over perennial MAAC champion Marist, a game in which the Tigers made 12 three-pointers.
“One of our goals was to take away their three’s,” Milligan said, “but we gave them too many easy buckets.”
Trailing 33-19, Rider out-scored the Tigers 9-2, six points by sophomore Mikal Johnson (Manassas, Va./Osbourn), to cut the lead to 35-28 with 3:09 left in the first half. Johnson finished with six points in 17 minutes off the bench.
Princeton out-scored Rider 12-4 over the final 3:09 of the first half to take a 47-32 lead at intermission.
Banks scored six points in a 9-4 run to cut the lead to 17-12, before Princeton went on a 12-2 run, six points by Taylor Williams, to take a 29-14 lead with 8:38 left to play in the half. Williams finished with 12 points off the bench.
Princeton jumped out to a 13-7 lead, five points by Michelle Miller and four by Dietrick. Miller finished with 12 points.
Princeton out-rebounded Rider 51-29.
The Broncs shot 29 percent from the field, while the Tigers shot 51 percent from the field for the game.
Rider and Princeton last met on November 20, 2012 when the Tigers defeated the Broncs 88-42.
This was the 31st meeting between Princeton and Rider with the Tigers holding a 23-8 series lead.
Rider last defeated the Tigers 45-42 during the 2007-08 season on a three-pointer at the buzzer here in Alumni Gym.
Rider will host former East Coast Conference rival Delaware on November 24 at 2 p.m.