Rider preps for busy weekend

Sophomore guard Emily Fazzini is shooting .300 from the field for the Broncs this season. The Broncs are 11-12 on the season.

By Steve Sica

The women’s basketball team plays two games in a three-day span this weekend. The Broncs will be at Siena today before heading back home to face Loyola (MD) on Feb. 17.

Head Coach Lynn Milligan has high hopes for the important weekend that the Broncs (11-12, 6-6 MAAC) face.

“It is a big weekend against two very good teams,” Milligan said. “We will be ready to compete. We have been a solid road team this season so we need to continue that.”

The players are also adjusting their game to handle both the Saints (5-7) and the Greyhounds (4-8).

“This is our first time playing Siena so we need to focus on our scouts and be ready to play hard,” said graduate forward Carleigh Brown. “As for Loyola, we beat them in a close game at their place so both teams are going to be coming out hard. We just have to be more focused and more disciplined.”

With less than a month to go in the regular season, there is plenty of added intrigue to these games as teams vie for continuous positive results in the standings.

“Our team is ready to take on the end of the season,” Brown said. “We are excited with the position we are in and are looking forward to a positive finish.”

Rider trounces Siena and Loyola in the MAAC standings currently, but the Broncs don’t want to let any teams have the chance to catch up. They also look to gain more momentum heading into the season’s end.

“We are always striving to get better every day, but we have put ourselves in a situation where every game counts in February and that is exciting,” Milligan said. “We want to be playing our best basketball this month. We need a little more to get there.”

There are plenty of players who have been upping their game for the Broncs during conference play, and Milligan has taken notice.

“We have been a pretty balanced team so far in conference play,” Milligan said. “We have had different players step up in different games. Junior forward Myneshia McKenzie has been a steady for us this month along with senior forward Caitlin Bopp and senior guard Sironda Chambers. You have to rely on your seniors to play well in February.”

With that experience, the Broncs feel that they are ready to handle the extra pressure of the last month of the season and the upcoming MAAC tournament in March.

“This is their time and they have a sense of urgency that is different than other players’,” Milligan said. “Bopp, Brown and Chambers will have to continue to play with that sense of urgency throughout the rest of the season.”

 

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