The Campaign

Rider Runs Past Niagara on Senior Day

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: February 24, 2017
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Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Senior center Julia Duggan (Marmora, NJ/Ocean City) recorded her second straight double-double behind an 18-point, 11-rebound performance as the Rider University women’s basketball team raced past visiting Niagara, 62-41, on Friday evening at Alumni Gymnasium. The Broncs (22-6, 16-3 MAAC) ran their winning streak to nine games and completed the season sweep of the Purple Eagles (8-20, 5-14 MAAC) with their fifth 20-point victory of the season.

"This is a special group,” Rider University Head Coach Lynn Milligan said about the four members of the senior class. “We always talk about leaving your mark, your legacy and leaving the place better than when you found it and these young ladies have done that. They care about this team and about each other. They lead this team and they give me everything they’ve got every day.”

Duggan shot 8-of-16 from the field to pour in 18 points for the second straight game. The double-double was her ninth of the season, which currently ranks second in the MAAC. Freshman Stella Johnson (Denville, NJ/Morris Catholic) scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. She also added four assists, four rebounds and five steals. Junior Kamila Hoskova (Brno, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium Ludvika Danka) was the other Bronc in double figures with 13 points. She also added seven rebounds.

It was a two-headed attack for Niagara led by Victoria Rampado with 12 points. Rampado also grabbed six boards and knocked down 5-of-10 from the field. The other Purple Eagle in double figures was Kaylee Stroemple with 10 points to go along with five rebounds.

Rider had an early 4-0 edge thanks to holding Niagara scoreless over the first three minutes of play. In the first five minutes of the game, the Broncs forced six turnovers and held the Purple Eagles to just one made field goal. The guests would use a 3-0 spurt of their own later in the frame to take their first lead of the game at 9-8 thanks to bucket in the paint and a free throw with under three to play in the first.

The Broncs would end the quarter on a 5-0 run capped by a trey from freshman wing Safie Tolusso (Vevey, Switzerland/Honore d'Estinne d'Orves) to take a 13-9 lead into the second. In the opening 10 minutes, the hosts forced seven Niagara turnovers and held the Purple Eagles to 28 percent shooting (4-14).

The guests started the second frame on a 6-0 run and made their first three shots from the field to take a 15-13 lead. All of the Niagara points during the spurt came in the paint. Back-and-forth the two conference foes would go exchanging baskets with four lead changes in the early minutes.

Rider would stretch its lead to eight at 25-17 thanks to seven straight points from Johnson in a 7-0 for Rider. After a lay-up from Rampado gave the Purple Eagles a 17-16 advantage with 7:39 left in the half, the Broncs would score the next 16 points and hold Niagara without a field goal for the remainder of the half. Hoskova would score the final five of the stanza for Rider courtesy of knocking down a trey and a pair of free throws as the Broncs took a 32-17 lead into the break.

In the first half, Johnson and Hoskova combined to shoot 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. The duo also grabbed five rebounds and recorded three steals, while outscoring Niagara, 18-17, during the first 20 minutes. The Broncs did a good job of distributing the ball in the first half, recording seven assists on 12 made field goals.

Niagara scored the first points of the third with over two minutes to play to put an end to the Rider run. In total, the Broncs held the Purple Eagles scoreless for more than 10 minutes of action.

Following a pair of free throws from Duggan midway through the stanza, the Broncs would take a 17-point edge at 38-21. The Rider lead would balloon to 19 following a lay-up in transition from Duggan off a feed from classmate Taylor Wentzel (Pittsburgh, PA/Baldwin) with under three left in the third.

The Purple Eagles eclipsed double digits in a quarter for the first time in the third, scoring 10 points. Rider freshman Tracey Goodman (Lansdale, PA/Pil-Mont Christian Academy) closed the scoring in the quarter as she grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to give the Broncs a 48-27 advantage heading into the fourth.

The strong third-quarter play continued for Rider with the team outscoring the visitors, 16-10. On the season, the Broncs have outscored the opposition by 55 points (305-250) in conference play coming out of halftime.  

Rider remained in control throughout the entire fourth quarter. Midway through the final 10 minutes, Rider held a 55-34 lead after a trey from the win by sophomore guard Lexi Posset (Pittsburgh, PA/Beaver Area) and an offensive rebound and put back from Duggan.

For the game, Rider shot over 40 percent from the field (23-57) and the Purple Eagles hit a little over 36 (17-47) percent of their shots. The Broncs forced 17 turnovers and shot an impressive 7-of-15 from three-point range.  

With the win, Rider remained tied with Quinnipiac atop the MAAC standings heading into the final game of the regular season.

In her final collegiate home contest, senior Yeliz Dogan (Izmir, Turkey/Western Nebraska CC/Antalya Koleji) scored two points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists.

The Broncs close out the 2016-17 regular season on Sunday, February 26, with a road conference showdown against Fairfield that is slated to begin at 2:00 pm. Rider is looking to avenge a 68-67 overtime setback against the Stags at home earlier this season.
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The Campaign