Women’s College Basketball
Quinnipiac University 54, Rider University 44
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Game
LAWRENCEVILLE—Despite 10 points and nine rebounds from sophomore guard Manon Pellet (Marseille, France), the Rider University women’s basketball team was held to a season low 14 points in the second half and lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game to Quinnipiac University 54-44 on Tuesday afternoon in Alumni Gymnasium.
“Manon made some great plays getting into the paint today,” said head coach Lynn Milligan. “I thought she made some great feeds to her teammates and if we make those shots, she may have had a triple double. We need her to be aggressive and she was today. She did a decent job.”
Pellet added three assists and a steal, playing a career-high 35 minutes while celebrating her 21st birthday.
The game was moved to a 1:30 p.m. tip off due to the winter storm bearing down on the area.
Tied at 30 to start the second half, Quinnipiac (12-8, 7-3 MAAC) held Rider (8-10, 4-5 MAAC) to only one field goal for 11 minutes 35 seconds and the 18-2 run made the score 48-32 with 8:47 left in the game.
“Quinnipiac threw the first punch in the second half and I don’t think we responded,” Milligan said. “We probably missed five or six layups in the beginning of the half and that really hurt us. We had open looks and didn’t knock them down.”
Rider opened the half shooting one for 21 (five percent) after shooting 9-25 (36 percent) in the opening 20 minutes.
“We got mad at ourselves for not scoring and they (Quinnipiac) took advantage and made some easy shots because we didn’t get back on defense,” Milligan added.
The Broncs shot 24.6 percent (15-61) for the game with Quinnipiac making 21-58 (36.2 percent).
Rider cut the Bobcat lead to eight on a jumper by freshman Julia Duggan (Marmora/Ocean City) with 50.5 seconds left but that was as close as the Broncs would get with Quinnipiac going four for four from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds to clinch the victory.
Quinnipiac, which went 11 for 12 from the free throw line in the game, went the final 8:07 of the game without a field goal as Rider closed the contest, scoring 10 of the final 14 points.
Duggan finished one off her career high with 10 points and she added five rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.
Rider opened the game, scoring 11 of the first 15 points of the contest, four points each by Pellet and Duggan as Rider led 11-4 at the 13:58 mark of the opening half.
After the Bobcats cut Rider’s lead to three, Rider went on a 9-4 run, three points each by senior MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield (Delco)) and freshman Stephanie Mason (Jackson/Jackson Memorial), as Rider took its largest lead of the game, 24-14 with 7:28 remaining in the opening half.
Rider’s leading scorer at 20.2 points per game, McKenzie was held to seven points. McKenzie did have a game-high 14 rebounds and she added two assists, a block and a steal while playing a limited amount of minutes (31) due to foul trouble.
Mason finished with three points in 11 minutes off the bench.
Trailing 28-20, Quinnipiac used a 10-2 run to end the opening half and the teams went into intermission tied 30-30.
The Bobcats were led by 18 points (14 in the opening half) and eight rebounds from Brittany McQuain with Nikoline Ostergaard adding 10 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.
“McQuain is a great post player,” Milligan said. “She got hers but I think we did a better job on her in the second half.”
The Bobcats swept the season series from the Broncs with Quinnipiac also defeating Rider 71-59 in Hamden, Connecticut on January 3. The Bobcats have won all three games in the series history.
Rider hosts Siena at 7 p.m. Friday night.
“Siena is going to be a tough game,” Milligan said. “We beat them 77-63 on December 31 but it was a one possession game until the last five minutes. It is going to be a battle.”