By Jake Tiger
In its final non-conference matchup on Dec. 9, Rider women’s basketball took arguably its ugliest loss of the season, committing 30 turnovers and falling 78-40 to the Seton Hall Pirates.
The last time the Broncs suffered a defeat of at least 38 points was last season in an 82-44 beating from Siena on Jan. 20, 2022.
“We saw a really good Big East team that’s playing very well and has a ton of confidence, and they came at us early,” said Head Coach Lynn Milligan. “We didn’t respond the way we anticipated that we would or could.”
After one quarter, the Pirates had marched out to a commanding 25-5 lead. The Broncs had already committed 14 turnovers as a team, five coming from graduate student guard Amanda Mobley.
The Pirates 78-point outing was entirely a result of suffocating defense. Rider’s 30 turnovers resulted in 16 extra shots for Seton Hall.
In all but two games this season, the Broncs have been on the wrong side of the turnover battle, and after the game against Seton Hall, the Broncs are now averaging 18.4 turnovers per game, third most in the conference behind Iona (19.5) and Saint Peter’s (23.9).
“They’re long and athletic, and I thought we got ourselves into a couple of bad situations as far as being too close to the sideline, or picking up our dribble too early or too late,” said Milligan. “I thought that they did a good job kind of taking advantage of us. … They really turned up the defense on us.”
Before the start of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play, the Broncs have eight days to make any last minute adjustments, though the coming week of practice does pose an additional challenge to Millgan and her players.
“We’ve got to get our players through exams,” said Milligan. “We’ve got to be conscious of what the academic schedule is going to be this week. Our practices become very important as far as time management, and the quality of our practices where we can be super efficient in shorter amounts of time.”
Rider begins conference play on Dec. 17, traveling to Buffalo, New York, to take on Canisius. The game begins at 7 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN3.