Women's College Basketball
Saint Peter's College 65, Rider University 64
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Game
JERSEY CITY—The Rider University women's basketball team lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic game at Saint Peter's on Friday evening in Jersey City.
"Overall, it was a well played game by both teams," said head coach Lynn Milligan. "It was a back and forth game and we had a chance to win it at the end and the shot just didn't fall."
Rider (11-17, 3-14 MAAC) was led by junior Caitlin Bopp (Baltimore, Md./Inst. of Notre Dame) who scored a career-high 21 points on eight for 16 shooting.
"Caitlin had a big night," said Milligan. "I think our guards did a great job getting her the ball. She was strong on the block and did a nice job finishing." Rider finished with 12 assists on 21 made baskets.
Trailing 62-54 with 5:08 left, Saint Peter's used an 11-0 run to take a 65-62 lead with 1:18 left, the seventh and final lead change of the game.
"Jynae (Judson) is an all-conference player for a reason," Milligan said. "When Saint Peter's needed someone to step up, she did." Judson led Saint Peter's with 19 points.
Sophomore MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield (Delco)) ended the scoreless drought for Rider with 47 seconds left on a layup, cutting the Peahen lead to one at 65-64. McKenzie finished with six points and 13 rebounds.
The Broncs missed a jumper that would have won the game with four seconds left.
Leading 56-54, Rider went on an 6-0 run, four points by Bopp as the Broncs opened up their biggest lead of the game with 5:08 left. Bopp had seven rebounds, four on the offensive glass.
Trailing 44-39, Rider used a jumper by senior Sarah Homan (Upper Darby, Pa./Delco Christian) and a three-point by senior Alyssa Parsons (Ivyland, Pa./Archbishop Wood) to tie the score at 44 with 11:38 left in the game.
Parsons finished with nine points, going three for three from long-range with Homan finishing with eight points, shooting four for four from the field.
Homan played in her 117th career game, tying the Rider record held by Amanda Sepulveda (2007-2010).
Trailing 13-7, Rider went on a 6-0 run, two points each by Homan, freshman Emily Fazzini (Wayne, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) and Bopp as the Broncs tied the game at 13 with 9:00 left in the opening half. Fazzini had four points in the game.
Trailing 15-13, the Broncs scored the next four points, two each from junior Dior Brown (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) and Fazzini as Rider went ahead 17-15 with 8:13 left before halftime. D. Brown finished with six points and four rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
With Rider leading 20-19, Saint Peter’s held the Broncs without a field goal for over five minutes but were only able to score four points in that span with the Peahens taking a 23-20 lead with 3:20 left in the first half.
Back to back layups by Bopp cut the Peahen lead to 26-24 with 2:04 left in the first half and Saint Peter’s led 28-27 at intermission.
Rider out-shot the Peahens 40 percent to 36 percent. Each team had 38 rebounds.
Saint Peter's swept the season series having won 65-54 in Lawrenceville on January 15 and the Peahens have won 42 of the 51 meetings all-time against Rider.
Rider is now 1-1 this season in games decided by one-point and 22-20 since 1977-78 in games decided by the slimest of margins.
The Broncs will be the number 10 seed in the upcoming MAAC playoffs at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts and will play against the number seven seed at noon on March 1.
The official playoff pairings will be announced by the conference office on Monday.
Rider hosts Fairfield in the final regular season game on Sunday at 1pm in a game that will be shown on ESPN3.
Rider will honor its four graduating seniors, Homan, Parsons, senior Ali Heller (Boca Raton, Fla./St. Andrews) and Aisha Varnadore (Eastampton/Rancocas Valley) prior to
the game at 12:45pm.
"It's going to be a big day," Milligan said about Sunday. "ESPN3, a doubleheader with the Rider men, a big crowd, senior day; it's going to be a teriffic atmosphere. We're looking to feed off that emotion and get a win against a very good Fairfield team."
Fairfield improved to 21-7, 14-3 in the MAAC, holding off Loyola Maryland 44-42 on Friday night. The Stags, the number two seed in the MAAC playoffs will face the #7/#10 winner on Friday, March 2 at 9:30am.