Women's College Basketball
Marist College 76, Rider University 54
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Game
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.--The Rider University women's basketball team lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at six-time defending MAAC champion Marist College on Wednesday evening at the McCann Arena.
For Rider (10-8, 2-5 MAAC), sophomore MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield (Delco)) had 17 points (on seven for 14 shooting) and seven rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench.
Trailing 20-19 with less than nine minutes remaining in the opening half, Marist went on a 17-0 run, eight points by Beynnon and seven points from Leanne Ockenden as the Red Foxes retook the lead 36-20 with 2:31 left in the first period, the fifth and final lead change of the night.
Ockenden had 17 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 31 minutes.
"Marist has a lot of weapons," said head coach Lynn Milligan. "Our defensive effort, we allowed too many layups. We didn't react well on the weak side and they took advantage."
Marist had 21 assists on 32 made baskets.
Trailing 6-4, Marist went on a 10-2 run, three points by Kelsey Beynnon as the Red Foxes took a 14-8 lead eight minutes into the game. Beynnon led Marist with 18 points.
Back to back three-pointers by McKenzie accounted for six of the nine points in a 9-2 run by the Broncs as Rider went back into the lead 20-19 with 9:15 left in the opening half.
Rider, playing without nationally ranked three-point threat senior Ali Heller (Boca Raton, Fla./St. Andrews) for the second game in a row (torn ACL), went five for 13 from long distance after being held to one made three-pointer last Sunday against Saint Peter's.
"We got some good looks from long range," Milligan said. "Center Caitlin (Bopp) got into early foul trouble for the second game in a row and that hurt some of the flow of what we were trying to do in the paint."
Bopp, a 6-2 junior from Baltimore, Md. (Inst. of Notre Dame), entered play averaging 21 minutes a game and played only 15 minutes including nine in the opening half after recording two fouls in the opening 2:40.
Rider used a 6-0 run late in the first half to cut the Red Fox lead to 10 (36-26), four points by senior Sarah Homan (Upper Darby, Pa./Delco Christian) and Marist led 38-28 at intermission. Homan finished with six points on three for three shooting in 19 minutes of play.
The Red Foxes opened the second half with four straight points before Rider scored the next six, three points each from junior Carleigh Brown (Philadelphia, Pa./Nazareth Academy) and junior Sironda Chambers (Newark, Del.), bringing the Broncs to within eight (42-34) with 17:51 left. That was as close as Rider would get.
C. Brown had 10 points with Chambers adding nine points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals in 33 minutes.
Leading 46-36, Marist went on a 17-3 run to put the game away with the Red Foxes opening up a 63-39 advantage with 12:41 left.
Marist shot 58 percent (32-55) from the field, holding the Broncs to just 33 percent (20-60).
The Red Foxes held a 48-26 advantage in the paint and Marist held a 16-2 advantage on fast breaks. Each team had 22 turnovers.
"We forced some turnovers," Milligan said. "We made a few too many ourselves and Marist took advantage of them."
Marist (12-6, 7-0 MAAC) has defeated Rider 18 straight times including an 82-56 win in Lawrenceville 11 days ago on January 7.
Rider is done with Marist on the regular season schedule but have yet to meet MAAC opponents Siena, Canisius or Fairfield this season.
Marist is on a seven-game winning streak and the Red Foxes have won 31 conference games in a row including the postseason.
Rider has lost three straight since opening the season 10-5. "We needed to play better than we did on Sunday (in the loss to Saint Peter's) said Milligan. "We did that but we were up against a very good team tonight and you have to give Marist credit."
The Broncs host Siena in a MAAC contest on Sunday at 1pm in the first game of a doubleheader with the Rider men's basketball team facing MAAC-rival Canisius at 3pm in Alumni Gymnasium.