24-0 run pushes Rider past defending champion Iona, 85-65
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Kamila Hoskova (Brno, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium Ludvika Danka) scored a season-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting as the Rider University women’s basketball team cruised past Iona, 85-65, Monday night at Alumni Gymnasium. The Broncs (9-4, 3-1 MAAC) used a program-record 24-0 run spanning nearly 10 minutes to close the second quarter and open the third to secure the victory over the defending MAAC Champion Gaels (7-6, 2-2 MAAC).
The 24-0 run eclipsed a 20-0 run against Army on Dec. 7, 2012, for the previous program record. Stella Johnson (Denville, NJ/Morris Catholic) added 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds, hitting 5-of-7 shots and 6-of-6 free throws in 23 minutes. Robin Perkins (Willingboro, NJ/Trenton Catholic [Saint Francis Univ.]) contributed 12 points and seven rebounds, while Julia Duggan (Marmora, NJ/Ocean City) hit 5-of-6 attempts for 11 points. Taylor Wentzel (Pittsburgh, PA/Baldwin) finished with eight points and a game-high five assists.
Philecia Atkins-Gilmore led Iona with 20 points off the bench, while Alexis Lewis added a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Marina Lizarazu tallied 12 points and three steals in the first half, before exiting due to injury early in the third quarter.
“We’re very pleased to protect our home court and beat a team like Iona, who is our defending champion,” said Rider Head Coach Lynn Milligan. “I think it was something that we were focused in on – we came up short against Quinnipiac, but to be really locked in and make sure we get this split at home.”
Following four lead changes in the opening 3:08 of the first quarter, a Hoskova wide-open lay-up, a Perkins pull-up jumper and a pair of Johnson free throws pushed Rider’s lead to 14-8 at the 4:37 mark. The Broncs lead swelled to eight on four occasions, including the 25-17 score at the end of the first quarter on a Duggan bucket in the post with three seconds left.
The Broncs extended to a 10-point lead twice in the opening minute of the second quarter, before the Gaels got a timeout. The Rider lead reached 11 on a Duggan three-point play at the 8:34 mark, before a 9-0 Iona run cut the Broncs’ lead to 32-30 at the 6:32 mark. Atkins-Gilmore scored five points in the run.
The Rider lead fluctuated between three and seven points for the next five minutes, before Perkins capped a 7-0 spurt to end the half with a three-pointer off a high screen atop the left wing with 22 seconds left in the period.
Hoskova led the Broncs with 13 first-half points on 6-of-9 shooting. Johnson and Duggan had nine points apiece, with Johnson hitting 2-of-2 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line and Duggan making 4-of-5 field-goal attempts. Johnson also had six rebounds, before exiting in the first quarter due to foul trouble. The Broncs were whistled for five charges in the first half, including four in the final three minutes of the first quarter. The Broncs shot an unconscious 66.7 percent (18-27) from the floor and dished out 13 assists, but were plagued by 18 turnovers. Lizarazu led Iona with 12 points and three steals in the first half.
Piggybacking on the 7-0 run to end the first half, Rider opened the third quarter on a 17-0 run to extend to the longest run in program history, 24-0, to push to a 63-36 lead with 5:48 left in the period. Six different Broncs scored in the run, led by nine from Perkins. The Rider lead reached 30, 69-39, on a pair of Wentzel free throws with just over 1:59 left in the quarter, before the Gaels scored the final five points of the period to cut it to 69-44 after three.
“I thought we did a good job getting certain people certain looks, running our offense, knowing the looks that we thought we could get and I thought we came through with that,” said Milligan. “We made some shots. I thought our defense was a little bit better to start the third quarter. We really talked about defense at halftime in the locker room. I thought we came out with a lot more energy in the third quarter to get some good stops.”
The Gaels gradually whittled the lead down to 15, 80-65, in the fourth quarter, before the Broncs scored the game’s final five points to take the 85-65 victory.
For the game, the Broncs outshot the Gaels, 58.2 percent (32-55) to 33.3 percent (25-75) from the floor and 40.0 percent (6-15) to 20.8 percent (5-24) from long range. Rider also edged the Gaels on the glass, 40-37.
The Broncs return to action Thursday, when they travel to Manhattan. Tipoff from Draddy Gym is slated for 5 p.m. on ESPN3.
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WBB: HL vs. Canisius 2/12/17
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HL: WBB vs. Saint Peter's 1/28/17
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WBB: HL vs. Fairfield 1/14/17
WBB: HL vs. Iona 01/02/17
WBB: HL vs. St. Francis Brk 12/21/16
WBB: HL vs. La Salle 11/17/16
WBB: HL vs. Lafayette 11/14/16
WBB: HL vs. TCNJ 11/6/16
WBB: Senior Day 2/21/16
WBB: HL vs. Quinnipiac 2/21/16
WBB: HL vs. Saint Peter's 2/18/16
WBB: Video Winning Shot vs. SPU 2/9/16
WBB: HL vs. Iona 2/7/16