Rider loses fourth straight to Niagara

By Jake Tiger

Rider cannot shake the turnover bug as careless errors continued to ail the Broncs in their 74-67 loss to the Niagara Purple Eagles on Dec. 19. The Broncs totaled 25 turnovers, and are now up to 18.5 turnovers per game this season.

Rider suffered its fourth consecutive defeat and slipped to 0-2 to start Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play.

It was almost a nightmarish case of deja vu for the Broncs, as the loss to Niagara came just days after they let a win against Canisius slip away from them in the final minutes due to some costly mistakes.

“It came down to untimely turnovers,” said Head Coach Lynn Milligan. “They were able to score buckets in those last two minutes, and we just didn’t. … We just went a little bit too fast, and that’s Niagara’s style. That’s how they want you to play.”

Rider was in control late into the contest, with a three-pointer from senior guard Jessika Schiffer giving the Broncs the lead with 3:28 left to play. However, Niagara responded by scoring nine straight points to cap off an impressive offensive showing for the Purple Eagles.

 As a unit, Niagara was lights out from deep, connecting on 11-of-19 from three-point range.

“I think a lot of that is a credit to them,” said Milligan. “They have not been shooting the three-ball very well, and they had a couple kids really step up in that first half and knock them down.”

Niagara’s Aaliyah Parker scored a career-high 27 points via 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from distance. She came into the game against Rider shooting only 12.9% (4-31) from three.

Parker’s performance marked the second consecutive time the Broncs gave up career-best showings to opposing players, with Canisius’ Vannessa Garrelts scoring 22 points to eclipse her personal record on Dec. 17.

“We’ve traditionally been a very good defensive team, and this is a good defensive team that we have right now,” said Milligan. “There’s a couple things that we’ve got to do a better job of.”

After a 10-day break for the holidays, the Broncs will look to recoup their losses on Dec. 29, hosting Siena for their MAAC play home opener. The game begins at 7 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN3.

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