Broncs cap improbable comeback with Johnson's steal/lay-up
LOUDONVILLE, NY – Julia Duggan (Marmora, NJ/Ocean City) registered her fourth double-double of the season thanks to a 19-point, 10-rebound performance and Stella Johnson (Denville, NJ/Morris Catholic) delivered the late-game heroics with a steal and lay-up for the game-winning basket as the Rider University women’s basketball team rallied to defeat Siena, 62-61, on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Recreation Center. The Broncs (11-4, 5-1 MAAC) scored nine points in the final 28 seconds to avenge an overtime loss to the Saints (3-12, 2-4 MAAC) in the opening round of last year’s MAAC Tournament.
“I can’t really believe that that just happened,” said Rider Head Coach Lynn Milligan. “We stayed the course. We did some things today that are going to help us. We didn’t rebound today and we have to clean that up. But there’s no quit in this team. Every huddle, every time there was a timeout, it was positive, it was confident. We had some players step up. I think Julia Duggan played one of the best games of her career - not just this season, but of her career.”
Trailing by four at 61-57 with less than 15 seconds left in the contest, Rider pulled within one courtesy of three-pointer from Lexi Posset (Pittsburgh, PA/Beaver Area) from the wing. After a Saint timeout advanced the ball past midcourt, Johnson stole the inbounds pass and went in for a contested lay-up for the eventual game-winner with four seconds left. Without a timeout, Siena saw their inbounds pass once again stolen by Johnson to seal the thrilling come-from-behind win.
The back-and-forth contest saw the two teams enter the final quarter of action knotted at 43 apiece. Siena opened the fourth frame on an 11-0 run capped by a pair of free throws by Kollyns Scarbrough with 6:21 remaining in regulation. During the spurt, Rider missed four shots and had two turnovers. Duggan put an end to the run and started to turn the tide in favor of the guests with an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the deficit to eight at 54-46 with just under five and a half minutes remaining.
Robin Perkins (Willingboro, NJ/Trenton Catholic [Saint Francis Univ.]) had a team-high 19 points for Rider thanks to hitting three shots from deep and four from the charity stripe. Included in the scoring was the 1,000th point of her Rider career. Kamila Hoskova (Brno, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium Ludvika Danka) was the other Bronc in double figures with 12 points to go along with a game-high three steals. Johnson was held in check for most of the game, but her lone field goal count with time expiring.
Scarbrough led the attack for Siena with a game-high 24 points, while Megan Donohue chipped in 12 points and five blocks for the hosts. Jackie Benitez added nine points courtesy of hitting 5-6 from the free-throw line for the Saints.
The two conference foes traded baskets early in the contest before Siena ended the opening frame on a 6-0 run capped by a Donohue bucket to lead 19-12 after 10 minutes of action. The stout Saint defense kept the Broncs scoreless during the final five minutes of the quarter following a trey from Perkins.
After trailing by as many as 11 midway through the second, Rider answered to cut the deficit to just five at 31-26 heading into halftime. The guests answered back in the third, outscoring Siena, 19-12, to tie the game at 43 entering the final quarter. The tilt saw five ties and seven different lead changes.
For the game, Rider shot over 42 percent from the field (22-52), while the host Saints hit just 31.8 percent of their shots (21-66). The Broncs knocked down 45.5 percent of their shots (5-11) from three-point range compared to Siena connected on 16.7 percent (2-12) from deep. Siena held an 18-board edge on the glass, outrebounding Rider, 48-30. Rider earned its win of the season when trailing at halftime.
The Broncs return to action on Thursday, January 12, when they travel to take on Marist. Opening tip from McCann Arena in Poughkeepsie, NY, is slated for 7 p.m.
WBB: HL vs. Quinnipiac (MAAC Championship) 3/6/17
WBB: HL vs. Fairfield 3/5/17
WBB: HL vs. Canisius 2/12/17
WBB: HL vs. Siena 2/4/17
HL: WBB vs. Saint Peter's 1/28/17
WBB: HL vs. Manhattan 1/26/17
WBB: HL vs. St. Peter's 1/19/17
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