By Logan VanDine
Looking to build off its win against Merrimack on Nov. 12, Rider women’s basketball headed to Newark, New Jersey, to take on NJIT on Nov. 15, but costly mistakes and turnovers saw Rider fall flat against the Highlanders as they were defeated 70-57 and fell to 1-2 on the young season.
Senior guard Makayla Firebaugh got the scoring started on a layup, but the Highlanders soon took control, as they went on a 9-0 run to eventually take a 20-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Looking to cut into the deficit, the Broncs still could not match NJIT’s offense as they trailed by 15 at the half, 56-41, and could never mount a serious comeback from there.
The second half was when the Highlanders started to pull away, as they outscored the Broncs 34-27 in the second half to get the win on their home court, 70-56 to drop Rider to 1-2 on the season.
“Not one of our better nights obviously,” Head Coach Lynn Milligan said bluntly. “Defensively I think we just didn’t do a good job on their personnel so that was a little disappointing, offensively credit to them they sped us up. … We just have to make sure when those nights are happening, we are making these shots.”
The biggest story on the night for the Broncs was a total of 18 turnovers as well as 20 personal fouls which created many opportunities for NJIT to score.
“We have to be more disciplined with our fundamentals, connecting more on passes, making sure we are in the right place making easy passes for our teammates,” said Milligan. “The 20 fouls go back to the lack of defense we had tonight, we just didn’t guard the ball well.”
Despite the loss, the Broncs on offense saw freshman center Kaylan Deveney lead the team in scoring with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Newcomer guard Taylor Langan was also second on the team in scoring with 10 points.
Milligan spoke highly of Deveney, as she continues to impress in her Rider career.
“Our teammates are putting her in good spots, I think she’s coming up with good finishes, we got to make sure we keep her out of foul trouble but I think she’s doing a really good job,” Milligan said.
The Broncs will return home on Nov. 18 to host Boston University at 2 p.m.