Rider falls to 0-6, Lynn Milligan concerned

By Dylan Manfre

After Rider’s first game against Manhattan head coach Lynn Milligan expressed something we had not seen lately from her.

Genuine concern.

She talked a lot about the “self-inflicted wounds” Rider sustained in the 56-51 loss to Manhattan on Dec. 11 which included, but were not limited to, poor free throw shooting and numerous turnovers.

“I mean, that’s not who we are. We were [an] excellent free throw shooting team and we didn’t show that tonight. And that’s disappointing when you look at the final score and look at our free throws and our turnovers,” Milligan said. “We needed some more shots at the basket, and we needed to make some free throws.”

A point of concern for Rider was its slow starts in quarters one and three. Manhattan got out to a 10-2 run to start Dec. 11’s game, junior guard Amanda Mobley threw a lackadaisical pass intercepted by Manhattan guard Dee Dee Davis and Milligan called a timeout.

What followed? Well, let Milligan tell you — or not tell you — what happened next.

“That, I probably can’t repeat on the air,” Milligan said when asked what the conversion was like in the first quarter media timeout. “That particular huddle wasn’t my most friendly one. It was just trying to wake us up. I mean, we came out a little sluggish which was disappointing. … You just go back to a couple of stretches in the beginning of the game, and then you can look at the same stretch in the third quarter.”

She’s referring to the third quarter where it only scored five points on ____ shooting. That seems to be the “bad formula” for Rider this season. One OK quarter, one decent quarter, one OK quarter and then a bad quarter.

“We have not had a good third quarter yet. I’m pretty sure about that,” Milligan said. “The beginning of the third quarter has really been a little bit of an Achilles heel for us … I’m not sure Manhattan came out and did anything different to us that quarter, we just didn’t come out with any fight ready to go.”

Even though Rider fell to 0-6 after their 50-38 loss on Dec. 12 to Manhattan, Milligan agreed it was frustrating especially after she thought the team played three quarters of solid basketball.

“I don’t think that last quarter was very indicative of how we played the first three,” Milligan said. “We had some breakdowns defensively that cost us and we just didn’t get enough good looks at the basket.”

To Milligan’s credit, the first few quarters were not that bad albeit it was a low-scoring game.

Rider only had three of the eight total points scored in the second quarter and all three were free throws from freshman forward Raphaela Toussaint and freshman guard Makayla Firebaugh. Both teams shot a combined 1-for-20 in the quarter and Milligan reverted to the defense.

“I guess I could say it was a really good defensive quarter,” Milligan said. “If we’re not scoring and we’re stopping the other team from scoring, then we’re going to be OK with that. I thought we were starting to develop a little bit more of our defensive identity this weekend. They’re the preseason favorites and we held them to [score in the] low 50s both nights.”

Team captain and junior point guard Amadna Mobley had eight points on Dec. 12. With the team benign without a win, she is tasked with keeping everyone’s head focused on winning games. She said she is not concerned about the team’s slow start.

“Everyday we can see a step, we’re growing,” Mobley said. “We’re going in the right direction. We just got to put it all together for a full game.”

Follow Dylan Manfre on Twitter for the latest on the Rider women’s basketball team.

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