Rider prepares for road-tested Army

By Steve Sica

The women’s basketball team (3-4) returns home after playing two games on the road. Rider faces Army (8-1) tonight at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym after a successful Brown Classic run this past weekend. Army is undefeated on the road this season.

The Broncs had a thriving weekend in Rhode Island where they beat Brown (3-5). They were one win away from winning the Brown Classic, but lost in the final game to undefeated Quinnipiac (6-0).

“We had a great experience at Brown,” Head Coach Lynn Milligan said. “We went to the tournament with the goal of winning it. We fell short of that but we beat a good Brown team to get to the championship game. Quinnipiac was undefeated and it was a good game, but we came up short in the end.”

Milligan felt encouraged that this tournament gave her team momentum moving forward. Some of her players received high individual honors this week.

“We had two players named to the All Tournament Team: forward Caitlin Bopp and guard Sironda Chambers,” Milligan said. “Sironda was also named the MAAC Player of the Week.”

Chambers enjoyed the Brown tournament despite the loss and felt that it helped her and her team.

“My experience at the Brown tournament was great,” Chambers said. “I had some high expectations for myself and the team — to win and have fun. Although we fell short, I still had a good time.”

Graduate forward Carleigh Brown used the tournament as a way to further prepare for MAAC play.

“I think we learned a lot from that tournament,” Brown said. “We have grown as a team. We just need to keep making changes and growing as the season progresses.”

Moving on from the Brown tournament, Milligan is getting her squad ready for tonight.

“We are excited to play Army tonight at home.” Milligan said. “The adjustments we are making this week are to continue to work on our communication and consistency. We feel this will help us offensively with empty possessions and defensively to get more stops.”

The players also share their coach’s enthusiasm about playing Army and heading home again.

“We are extremely excited for our game tonight,” Brown said. “We haven’t had a home game in a while and getting to be back in our gym on our floor is exciting. We are definitely looking for the win.”

There are a few alterations the Broncs need to make before they face off against Army and Milligan’s players are aware of this.

“One adjustment that the team will make is minimizing turnovers,” Chambers said. “We have to protect the ball in order to win ball games. Being aggressive on defense will be another adjustment — holding Army to 50 points or less will be our goal.”

With the Broncs performing so well, Milligan couldn’t help but think about the future of her team as the season gets closer to MAAC games.

“So far this season I am excited with our work ethic and resolve,” Milligan said. “I am excited to see where we are in January and February when we start the MAAC portion of the schedule. December is a great month for improvements.”

Printed in the 12-7-12 edition

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