By Ryan Connelly
Junior guard Lexi Posset went 2-for-2 at the free throw line to finish off Manhattan, 53-50, in an exciting overtime victory on Feb. 25. With only four seconds remaining, the Jaspers missed two three-pointers, securing a win for the women’s basketball team.
Both teams were evenly matched in the first quarter. There weren’t many lead changes and the biggest deficit was in favor of Manhattan by five points. Going into the second, the score was 12-9, Jaspers. This was a rough quarter for both teams; not a single point was scored for three minutes. The Jaspers then gained momentum, giving themselves an eight-point advantage by the end of the first half.
Coming out of the locker room, Rider did not lose sight of what it needed to do. The Broncs slowly chipped away at Manhattan’s lead, bringing it to only three points by the end of the third. Finally fighting back hard enough, the Broncs were able to overcome the long-lasting lead during the fourth quarter.
With 6:13 left to go in the game, Rider was up, 34-32. However, Manhattan wasn’t giving up either, staying right behind the visitors every step of the way. With some clutch shooting, the Jaspers were able to hold their own in the final seconds of regulation, tying things up at 44.
Overtime was very back-and-forth, with constant lead changes. Manhattan started things off with a midrange jumper to go up by two. Sophomore forward Aubrey Johnson had a huge turnover and layup that put the Broncs up by three. The Jaspers had a one-point advantage with 1:24 to go, but with a layup from senior guard Kamila Hoskova and two good free throws from Posset sealed the deal.
Some key players for the Broncs this game were sophomore guard Stella Johnson, who had 14 points and eight rebounds; Posset, who recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Hoskova, who had 12 points and eight rebounds.
On the other hand, Rider’s game against conference-undefeated Quinnipiac didn’t go as well as it did versus Manhattan. The Broncs were beaten, 80-59.
Head Coach Lynn Milligan said, “We came out and I felt like we played as hard as we [could] for those 40 minutes, Quinnipiac was better than us tonight.”
Rider was on top for the majority of the first quarter. It wasn’t until the last few minutes where Quinnipiac had the advantage. By the end of the first, the score was 23-19, Quinnipiac.
During the second quarter, the Bobcats had almost total control. They had leads between three and five points throughout. The Broncs held on, following up on each of the Bobcat’s shots. Within the last seconds of the half, they took a one-point advantage, closing out the second quarter 38-37, Rider.
The second half is where it went downhill for the Broncs. The Bobcats started to pull away, while Rider’s defense struggled and the offensive side couldn’t keep up. By the end of the third, Quinnipiac had a 15-point lead, 61-46.
In the final stretch of the game, it got worse. The Bobcats didn’t let up on offense and they were playing tough on defense. There wasn’t much the Broncs could do that late in the game. Quinnipiac’s reign finally ended with a 21-point deficit to finish the game.
Stella Johnson was able to record 17 points and six rebounds, while Hoskova scored nine points and five boards.
After beating Manhattan in the last game of the regular season, MAAC honors were given out. Stella Johnson and Hoskova were awarded Second Team All-MAAC and freshman guard Jaiden Morris earned MAAC All-Rookie Team.
After having a 13-16 overall record and an 10-8 record in the MAAC, Rider is the fifth seed in the tournament. Their first opponent is No. 4 Fairfield. During the regular season, the Broncs faced the Stags twice, winning 61-45 first, and losing 68-57 the second time. These are two very evenly matched teams. Fairfield’s overall record and conference record is the same as Rider’s.
Hoskova stated, “Against Fairfield