Women’s College Basketball
Marist College 79, Rider University 51
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ— On Rider’s Senior Night, it was a pair of Marist seniors who stole the show.
Red Fox senior guard Casey Dulin added 19 points and five assists and senior forward Emma O’Connor compiled 16 points and nine rebounds to lead Marist to a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win at Rider Friday night.
For Rider (13-14, 9-9 MAAC) graduate student Shereen Lightbourne (Elmsford, NY/Alexander Hamilton), playing in her final game in Alumni Gymnasium, compiled 11 points and a season-high seven rebounds.
“It was unfortunate that this was the game we had on senior day,” head coach Lynn Milligan said. “I told them (the three seniors) that it isn’t about this one game but the culmination of three great careers. Shereen has had a five-year career with us with some ups and downs and some heartache but she has always gotten up and fought back. I thought she did a fantastic job tonight.”
The eight-time defending MAAC Champion, Marist (21-6, 15-2 MAAC) used a 13-6 run, four points each by O’Connor and Sydney Coffey, to take a 62-31 lead with 14:21 left to play. Coffey finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
“We ran up against a better team and they played very, very well,” said Milligan. “I thought our effort was terrific but we just didn’t play well tonight.”
The second place Red Foxes led 49-25 at the half, as O’Connor and Dulin combined for 25 first-half points.
Marist held a 14-12 lead before going on a 15-2 run, 10 points by O’Connor, to take a 29-14 lead with 8:05 left in the first half.
“Marist played a solid first half and we didn’t stop them,” Milligan said. “We haven’t had a game like this all season.”
Marist made 10 three-pointers and shot .417 percent from beyond the arc, and out-rebounded Rider 40-31.
Rider made four three-pointers, shooting .222 percent from three-point range.
It marked the 22nd consecutive time that Marist has beaten Rider. The last time Rider defeated Marist was February 19, 2003.
Rider completes the regular season with games at Niagara (February 28) and at Canisius (March 2).
“It’s a good time for us to catch our breath,” Milligan said about the break after playing three games in six days. “It will be good to get away and prepare to try and win two games.”