The women’s basketball team concluded its season yesterday after losing to number seventh-seeded Loyola in the MAAC tournament.
The Broncs, 10th seed, fell to the Greyhounds 57-49 in the first round of the tournament.
“We got a good effort but unfortunately it wasn’t enough,” Head Coach Lynn Milligan said to Rider Sports Information. “We got out hustled and out toughed and that was a little bit disappointing. It was a tail of two halves.”
Rider started the second half on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to five points, while a lay-up by sophomore Stephanie Wisniewski cut the lead to three with over 13 minutes left.
The Broncs came within four on a basket from sophomore Amanda Sepulveda with 3:50 left, but that was as close as Rider would get.
“We were more focused in the second half,” junior Shaunice Parker said to Rider Sports Information. “We had our eyes on the prize but Loyola answered back with some clutch shots.”
Rider jumped out to a 6-2 lead to start the first half. After a 3-pointer by senior Janele Henderson, the Broncs tied the game at nine. Rider was trailing 14-13 until Loyola went on a 17-5 run. The Greyhounds led 35-22 at the half.
Henderson finished with 14 points while graduating with 1,030 career points, the 16th highest ever at Rider.
“You can’t say enough about what Janele has done for us,” Milligan said to Rider Sports Information. “She is a great competitor and wants to win, ,and she gave her heart and soul to the program this year.”
Parker finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds, her fourth double-double of the season, while Sepulveda added seven points, eight rebounds and three assists.
“The second half effort is what Rider basketball is all about,” Henderson said to Rider Sports Information. “I think we competed and made a run but the three from Tolley was the game. We were determined to give that effort and leave everything on the floor.”
The Broncs out-rebounded Loyola 44-39, while this was Rider’s 14th single-digit loss of the season, being tops in the nation.
“We’ve been in enough situations where we know how to come back,” Milligan said to Rider Sports Information. “Today we just came up a little bit short. We competed until the end and these young ladies gave it everything they had.”
Under a new program with Milligan, Rider added eight wins to its season, the highest the Broncs have seen since the 2004-’05 season with nine wins.
“I think the team will be really tough next season,” Henderson said to Rider Sports Information. “The players we have coming back know what to expect and only losing one senior, it’s going to be a tougher team to beat.”