By Ryan Connelly
The women’s basketball team had a close game against Niagara but couldn’t pull off the comeback, losing 69-61. However, Rider took down Canisius at its home court on Feb. 18, 62-54.
Sophomore guard Stella Johnson posted a double-double during the game against the Golden Griffins, recording 25 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. She also played the whole game. With help from senior guard Kamila Hoskova and junior guard Lexi Posset, they were able to combine for 52 points.
In the first quarter, it was clear Rider had the advantage. As the game went on the Broncs kept scoring, extending their lead to 11 by the end of the first. Going into the second, Rider was still hot. For the first half of the quarter, the Golden Griffins were unable to stop the Broncs, allowing them to go up by as much as 15. However, around the five minute mark, Canisius decided it was time to fight back and reduced Rider’s lead to seven going into halftime, 26-19.
The Broncs came out of locker room on fire, scoring left and right. During the third quarter, Rider had its largest deficit of the game at 20 points after Posset drilled a three. By the end of the third, the Broncs had a 13-point advantage. In the last 10 minutes of the game, Canisius fought back again and managed to create pressure for Rider, shrinking the lead down to as little as four points with five minutes left to play.
Although the Golden Griffins made a good effort, Rider was able to hold them off until the end.
In the game against Niagara, Rider was struggling to keep the score close. Playing at the Purple Eagles’ court, the first and second quarters were evenly matched. There were constant lead changes between both teams up until the end of the second. At that point Niagara started to pull away, extending their advantage to 10 going into halftime.
At the start of the third, the score was 32-22 in favor of the Purple Eagles. For the rest of the game, the Broncs couldn’t seem to find their rhythm. Niagara was hovering around a 10 point lead and managed to hold that until the end. Johnson played the full 40 minutes and put up 20 points, seven rebounds and seven steals. Hoskova recorded 25 points and also had a mass amount of playing time with 39 minutes. Posset was a monster on the glass, grabbing 14 rebounds.
The Broncs are currently tied for third place in the MAAC with Siena, sitting at 9-7 in conference play. Ahead of them is Quinnipiac, who clinched the first seed, and Marist, who is currently placed with the second seed.
Rider’s next game is its last home game of the season against Quinnipiac on Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. The MAAC Tournament begins March 1.