By Austin Ferguson
After losing its first six games, Rider got its first win on Dec. 1 against Vermont behind a career- high coring performance from a sophomore guard.
Stella Johnson scored 28 points, shooting 11-of-14 from the field and hitting four out of her five three-point attempts en route to a 64-49 home victory over the Catamounts.
Johnson led the team with six assists and five steals which helped the Broncs secure a 15-point victory over the Catamounts.
Rider’s effort on the boards was also key to its success during the game, out-rebounding Vermont on offense 9-0 in the first half. The Broncs won the overall rebound battle, ending the game with a 35-34 advantage, led by sophomore forward Aubre Johnson, who grabbed eight boards.
The Broncs and the Catamounts went back and forth throughout a majority of the first half, amassing a 20-20 tie with just a few minutes to go in the second quarter. It was the closing minutes of the first half that saw Rider pull away, going on an 8-0 run highlighted by a late three from sophomore guard Lexi Stover.
The Broncs didn’t look back in the second half, anchored by an efficient 54 percent from the field and hitting nine out of 10 free throws.
Senior guard Kamila Hoskova scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half. This performance is her team-leading sixth double-figure scoring game this season.
Hoskova wasn’t alone in Rider’s second half scoring effort, as Stella Johnson netted 13 of her 28 total points in the second half as well.
“In practice we’ve been getting our shots up everyday,” Johnson said. “Once one person hits it, it helps builds our confidence.”
Rider’s successful scoring efforts were coupled with a strong defensive front, holding Vermont to a 34 percent second half field goal percentage. The Catamounts were held to just one three pointer in seven attempts in the second half.
Head Coach Lynn Milligan commented after the game, “When you hold a team under 50 on your home floor, that’s a game you should win. I thought defensively we did a really good job locking them up.”
Both Aubre Johnson and Stella Johnson contributed a block in the Broncs’ effort over the Catamounts.
Rider’s success on both sides of the floor led them to outscore Vermont in all four quarters, only letting Vermont have a single one-point lead early on in the second period.
Despite having had only four players contribute to the Caramounts’ scoring effort, sophomore forward Hanna Crymble led all players with a game-high 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting.
Though Rider had finally gotten its first win of the season, its current 1-6 record is not as desirable as its record through seven games last season at 5-2.
“Win or lose tonight, we are still a work in progress,” Milligan said. “We’re still trying to figure out our true identity and how we like to play.”
The Broncs look to build on their momentum on Dec. 6 when they travel to play the La Salle Explorers at the Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia at 7 p.m. The Explorers had most recently lost to Wisconsin on Dec. 2, which put them at an even 4-4 record.