The Campaign

Broncs Drop Overtime Thriller Against Fairfield

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: January 14, 2017
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Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Senior center Julia Duggan (Marmora, NJ/Ocean City) recorded her fifth straight double-double thanks to a season-high 21-point, 10-rebound performance as the Rider University women’s basketball fell in overtime, 68-67, to Fairfield on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium. The Broncs (12-5, 6-2 MAAC) saw their four-game winning streak come to an end, while the Stags (8-8, 5-2 MAAC) won their fourth game in a row.

Trailing by one point with just over two seconds remaining in overtime, Rider ran a play for Kamila Hoskova (Brno, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium Ludvika Danka) and she saw her lay-up attempt blocked at the basket as Fairfield capped its comeback and sealed the 68-67 overtime victory.

Fairfield led by three at 64-61 with 1:38 following a free throw by Kelsey Carey. Carey’s free throw capped a 5-0 run by the Stags during the extra stanza. With under a minute left in overtime, Rider sophomore guard Lexi Posset (Pittsburgh, PA/Beaver Area) knotted the game at 64 with a three from the wing.

On the ensuing possession, Fairfield missed a pair of free throws. With the ball, Rider senior Robin Perkins (Willingboro, NJ/Trenton Catholic [Saint Francis Univ.]) buried a three from the top of the key with just four seconds left to put the Broncs back up three at 67-64. After a Stag timeout, Sam Kramer hit a three in traffic and was fouled. Kramer stepped to the line and sunk the free throw for what would prove to be the game-winning point. Her shot from the charity stripe capped a four-point play.

“It doesn’t come down to one play,” Rider Head Coach Lynn Milligan said. “It comes down to us giving up a lead in the fourth quarter. We just didn’t defend well enough today to get it done."

Fairfield opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run to erase a seven-point deficit and take a 50-49 advantage. The lead was the first for the Stags since early in the second quarter. On the ensuing possession, Duggan scored on an old-fashioned three-point play to reclaim the lead.

After a Stag lay-in with a minute left to tie the score at 55, Duggan answered again with a pair of free throws to give a two-point edge back to the hosts. Fairfield would show resolve as Carey hit a contested lay-up to tie with 28 seconds left.

Coming out of a timeout with 8.9 seconds left in the game, Rider was unable to get a good look at the basket as the two teams headed to overtime tied at 57.

“This is a hard lesson for us to learn,” Milligan added. “When you have a game like this in your hands, you have to stay focused for 45 minutes and we didn’t do that. We made a lot of plays that are uncharacteristic of us and that’s because Fairfield did a good job executing.”

Duggan was efficient once again in the post, scoring 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting. She also hit all nine of her free-throw attempts. Perkins poured in 17 points for the Broncs, doing most of her damage in the opening half, while Hoskova was the other Rider player in double figures with 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Rider had a strong day at the free-throw line, hitting 19-of-21 attempts.

It was a two-headed attack for the Stags as Carey had a game-high 25 points to go along with four assists and five rebounds. Casey Smith was the other Fairfield player in double figures with 12 points.

Rider opened the game on a 7-0 run over the first 90 seconds of action. During the spurt, Perkins knocked down a mid-range jumper and hit a lay-up in transition. The Stags would counter with a 9-0 run of their own over the next five minutes. The Fairfield run was capped by a three-pointer by Samantha Cooper from the wing. Hoskova put an end to that run with a pull-up jumper in transition to tie it a nine going into the first quarter media timeout. Coming out of the media timeout, the Broncs outscored Fairfield, 8-5, to hold a 17-14 edge after 10 minutes of play.

The Stags began the second on a 4-0 run to take a 18-17 advantage following a Smith jumper a minute and half into the frame. The Broncs would answer with seven unanswered points starting with a turnaround jumper from senior forward Yeliz Dogan (Izmir, Turkey/Antalya Koleji) with 7:21 remaining and ending with a lay-up from Duggan to make it 24-18 in favor of the hosts. The Broncs defense clamped down in the second quarter, holding the Stags to just four made field goals, while forcing eight turnovers in the frame. Rider allowed just nine points in the second frame to take a 29-23 lead into halftime.

Rider and Fairfield went back-and-forth in the third as the Broncs would take a seven-point lead at 47-40 into the fourth quarter.

For the game, Rider shot better than 35 percent (21-59) from the field, while Fairfield hit 50 percent (25-50) of its shots. The Stags outrebounded the Broncs, 40-27, and outscored Rider, 28-20, over the final 20 minutes of action. The stout Rider defense forced 22 Fairfield turnovers. 
Fairfield led for just under four minutes of total game time and its largest lead of the day was three late in overtime. The loss was the first for the Broncs when leading at halftime as the team is now 11-1 when leading at the brea

This marked the first overtime game for Rider since the opening round of last year’s MAAC Tournament. The team has dropped its last two overtime games.

The Broncs return to action on Thursday, January 19, with a road conference showdown against Saint Peter’s that is slated to get underway at 5:00 pm at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, NJ.  
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The Campaign