The Campaign

Rider 64, Saint Peter's 55

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: March 06, 2014
Send this article to a friend Print RSS
Article Image
MyNeshia McKenzie 25 points, 11 rebounds
Courtesy: Ben Strahle

Women’s College Basketball – MAAC First Round
#6 Rider University 64, #11 Saint Peter’s University 55

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Survive, advance and play another day.

The Rider University women’s basketball team advanced to the 2014 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference quarterfinals with a 64-55 victory over Saint Peter’s University on Thursday afternoon.

“We are very happy to be sitting up here with a win,” said head coach Lynn Milligan who saw her squad lose in the MAAC quarterfinals last season.  “I feel good for the young ladies on the team and especially the seniors.  It was kind of a monkey on our back, trying to come up with a playoff win.  I’m proud of the effort, especially from MyNeshia (McKenzie) in the second half and Shereen (Lightbourne) in the opening half.”

This was Rider’s first tournament win in seven tries under Milligan and only the fourth playoff win in 17 seasons in the MAAC for the Broncs.  Rider’s last MAAC tournament win was in March of 2005 when Becky Hower hit a 37-foot shot at the buzzer, giving the Broncs a come from behind 60-58 victory over then MAAC-member Loyola University.

Appearing in a Rider record 120th career game for women’s basketball, senior MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield (Delco)) had 25 points and 11 rebounds, playing all 40 minutes and recorded her 44th career ‘double-double’ and 18th of the season.

A First Team All-MAAC honoree and Player of the Year candidate, McKenzie now has 21 career games of 20 points or more, 17 coming this season.

Trailing 43-40, Rider went on a 10-0 run, six points by McKenzie, the sixth and final lead change of the game as the Broncs went ahead 50-43 with 10:37 left.  McKenzie had 19 points in the second half on six for eight shooting and added four steals, all in the final 20 minutes.

“MyNeshia started the second half with kind of an edge to her,” Milligan said.  “You can kind of tell when it is time to start calling plays for her and we called her number, I think five times in a row.  It was also a key that the defense got stops so that we were able to build a lead.”

McKenzie now has 1,585 career points, third best all-time at Rider and she is the Rider record holder in rebounds with 1,121.

“I felt that I only had 20 minutes left to play in my collegiate career,” McKenzie said about her mind set.  “I was determined and I didn’t want to end my career.  I wanted to play tomorrow (Friday) and the next day and the day after that.  I woke up this morning and my mentality was that I don’t want this to end and that’s been my approach all season.”

Trailing 36-32, Rider scored four straight points, all four by McKenzie as Rider tied the game 36-36 with 18:16 left in the game.

Junior Lashay Banks (Philadelphia, Pa./Prep Charter) had a steal and her jumper tied the game 40-40 with 15:17 left in the contest.

Banks had nine points, six rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes of play.

The opening half was a back and forth battle.

Leading 7-6, Rider went on a 9-0 run, all nine points by graduate student Shereen Lightbourne (Elmsford, N.Y./Alexander Hamilton) as the Broncs extended their lead to 16-6 with 11:33 left in the first period.

Lightbourne finished with 15 points and added three assists and a steal in 30 minutes off the bench.  Lightbourne entered play averaging only 12.7 minutes per contest.

“I’ve taken things day by day and game by game,” said Lightbourne who has battled through three ACL knee injuries which cost her one high school season and her last two collegiate seasons.  “This could have been my last game EVER and I just wanted to come in with confidence and stay mentally positive.”

An 84-game veteran, Lightbourne was the Rider team MVP as a sophomore after averaging 30.2 minutes per game and 9.6 points per contest before back to back knee injuries cost her the last two seasons.

“Having Shereen back is an amazing feat,” Milligan said.  “What people don’t realize is that Shereen hasn’t taken a day off of practice all season.  She has made all 95 of them.  That is probably the most incredible aspect of her story.  She has sustained what she is doing and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she is playing her best basketball at this point of the season.  It took months to get her back into game mode.  She has done everything that we have asked of her.”

Saint Peter’s responded with an 8-2 run, cutting the Rider lead to four (18-14) as the Broncs went over three minutes without a field goal.

The Peacocks took a 24-23 lead at the 4:05 mark of the opening half with a 6-0 run.

Rider scored five straight points, three by Lightbourne and two by senior McKenzie to retake the lead 28-24 with 2:53 left in the opening half.

Saint Peter’s responded with a 7-2 run to end the half, including a three-point bank shot at the buzzer, as the Peacocks went into intermission leading 31-30.

“Saint Peter’s made a great shot at the buzzer,” Milligan said about the end to the opening half.  “We could have let that swing the momentum but we didn’t.  The mood was focused and calm in the locker room and we were focused on the job at hand.”

Rider was out-rebounded 32-29 but the Broncs had 11 steals with Saint Peter’s turning the ball over 18 times.

Saint Peter’s out-shot the Broncs 44 percent (18-41) to 42 percent (20-48).  Rider made 21 of 29 free throws with the Peacocks making 12-21 from the charity stripe.

The Peacocks were led by 21 points from senior Aziza May.

Today was the 56th meeting all-time between the two teams with Rider winning for the 14th time.  The Broncs swept Saint Peter’s this season, 68-40 on January 9 in Lawrenceville and 56-55 in Jersey City on January 18, 2014 and the Broncs have now won five in a row over the Peacocks.

Rider (14-16, 9-11 MAAC) will face third seed Fairfield University (20-9, 15-5 MAAC) on Friday at 9:30 p.m.  The Stags won two close games over Rider in 2013-14, 67-61 in Lawrenceville on December 29 and 52-50 in Bridgeport, Connecticut on February 13.

“We are excited about Friday night,” Milligan added about the game against the Stags.  “It is survive and advance time.  We are going to show up with a strong defensive mindset and go from there.  The games have typically been a slower pace and it is up to us to have the commitment on the defensive end to try and stop them.  We are excited for the opportunity.”

The opportunity to play another day.

-RU-

BroncVision
Play
WBB MAAC Preview - Milligan - 3/5/15
Play
WBB HL vs. Marist 2/28/15
Play
WBB Senior Day vs. Marist 2/28/15
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Marist 2/28/15
Play
WBB HL vs Quinnipiac 2/26/15
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Quinnipiac 2/26/15
Play
WBB HL vs. Manhattan 2/15/15
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Manhattan 2/15/15
Play
WBB Post Game at Monmouth 2/13/15
Play
WBB HL vs. Saint Peter's 2/10/15
Play
WBB HL vs. Canisius 2/1/15
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Canisius 2/1/15
Play
WBB HL vs. Monmouth 1/16/15
Play
WBB Postgame vs Niagara 1/16/15
Play
WBB HL vs. Fairfield 1/11/15
Play
WBB Post Game vs. Fairfield 1/11/15
Play
WBB HL vs. Monmouth 1/8/15
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Monmouth 01/08/15
Play
WBB Milligan Preview at Manhattan 1/4/15
Play
WBB Milligan Preview 1/2/15 at Saint Peter's
Play
WBB HL vs. UMBC 12/18/14
Play
WBB Postgame vs. UMBC 12/18/14
Play
WBB HL vs. Iona 12/5/14
Play
WBB at LIU Brooklyn Radio Broadcast Full Game 12/2/14
Play
WBB HL vs. Lafayette 11/25/14
Play
WBB Press Conference vs. Lafayette 11/25/14
Play
Rider WBB at Seton Hall Full Game Radio Broadcast 11/14/14
Play
Archive - MBB/WBB Coaches Show - 11/11/14
Play
Midnight MAACness Replay - 10/10/14
Play
WBB 2014-15 Schedule
Play
WBB Post Game vs. Marist 3/9/14
Play
WBB Post Game vs. Fairfield 3/7/14
Play
WBB Post Game vs. Saint Peter's 3/6/14
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Marist - 2/21/14
Play
WBB vs. Marist - Game Replay - 2/21/14
Play
WBB HL vs. Marist 2/21/14
Play
WBB HL vs. Monmouth 2/19/14
Play
WBB vs. Monmouth - Game Replay - 2/19/14
Play
WBB Postgame (Milligan/McKenzie) 2/19/14
Play
WBB - Milligan Preview vs. Iona 2/16/14
Play
WBB HL vs. Niagara 2/9/14
Play
WBB Game Archive 2/9/14 vs. Niagara
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Niagara 2/9/14
Play
WBB Pregame vs. Niagara (Milligan/Mozes) 2/9/14
Play
WBB Radio Broadcast - Iona @ Rider 2/6/14
Play
WBB vs. Iona Cont. HL ESPN 3 - 2/6/14
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Iona 2/6/14
Play
WBB Pregame - Milligan/Nolan vs. Marist 1/29/14
Play
WBB - Post Game Press Conference 1/24/14 vs. Siena
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Quinnipiac 1/21/14 - Milligan
Play
WBB Milligan/Nolan Saint Peter's Preview 1/18/14
Play
WBB HL vs. Manhattan 1/16/14
Play
WBB Full Game Archive vs. Manhattan 1/16/14
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Manhattan 1/16/14
Play
WBB HL vs. Canisius 1/12/14
Play
WBB vs. Saint Peter's HL 1/9/14
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Saint Peter's 1/9/14 - Duggan
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Saint Peter's 1/9/14 - Gillcrease
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Saint Peter's 1/9/14 - Milligan
Play
WBB Postgame at Monmouth 1/5/14
Play
WBB Pregame (Milligan) 1/5/14 at Monmouth
Play
WBB HL vs. Fairfield 12/29/13
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Fairfield 12/29/13 - McKenzie
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Fairfield 12/29/13 - Milligan
Play
WBB vs. CCSU HL 12/21/13
Play
Postgame vs. CCSU - 12/21/13 - McKenzie
Play
Postgame vs. CCSU - 12/21/13 - Milligan
Play
WBB vs. Binghamton 12/14/13 (Radio)
Play
WBB vs. Binghamton Highlights
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Binghamton 12/14/13 - Milligan
Play
WBB Pregame - Milligan/Nolan 11/30/13 vs. Navy
Play
WBB Preview Milligan/Nolan vs. UMBC 11/29/13
Play
WBB vs. Delaware Highlights
Play
WBB Radio Broadcast 11/24/13 vs. Delaware
Play
WBB Postgame vs. Delaware 11/24/13
Play
WBB HL vs. Princeton 11/19/13
Play
WBB Full Game vs. Princeton 11/19/13
Play
WBB Postgame - 11/19/13
Play
WBB Radio Broadcast 11/19/13 vs. Princeton
Play
WBB Audio Broadcast vs. LIU Brooklyn 11/14/13
Play
WBB Postgame vs. LIU Brooklyn - Lashay Banks - 11/14/13
Play
WBB Postgame vs. LIU Brooklyn - Lynn Milligan - 11/14/13
Play
WBB Postgame at Seton Hall - Milligan 11/10/13
Play
WBB Pregame at Seton Hall - Milligan 11/10/13
Play
WBB Pregame Interview Milligan 11/8/13
Play
Midnight MAACness Replay 10/11/13
Play
Midnight MAACness Replay - 10/12/13
Play
13-14 WBB Non-Conf. Sch. Preview
Play
Women's Basketball Alumni Game
Play
WBB 12-13 Season Highlights
Play
WBB vs. Iona HL 3/3/13
Play
WBB HL vs. Siena 3/1/13
Play
WBB Pregame (Milligan) 2/24/13
Play
WBB vs. Fairfield 2/7/13
Play
WBB HL vs. Niagara 2/2/13
Play
WBB vs. Manhattan 1/31/13
Play
WBB HL vs. Manhattan 1/31/13
Play
WBB at Fairfield 1/27/13
Play
WBB vs. Saint Peter's HL 1/24/13
Play
WBB vs. Saint Peter's 1/24/13
The Campaign
Bronc Vision