By Dylan Manfre
Quinnipiac’s cohesion, defensive prowess and impeccable scoring crippled Rider. Even down double-digits, the Broncs have shown they can cut down a lead but could not mount any comeback in a 72-50 loss on Jan. 22.
The Broncs did not come out with the sense of urgency they needed to make the game competitive.
“I thought we were going to [come into the game with a sense of urgency,] we just didn’t,” Head Coach Lynn Milligan said. “I thought in the second half we did, but a lot of the damage was unfortunately done. … I just got to do a better job making sure we’re ready.”
Rider fell into its similar pattern in the first quarter, which felt like an entire game. It dug itself into an 11-point hole, cut the lead down to four and then Quinnipiac’s Mikala Morris hit a 3-point shot as time expired.
Morris finished with her fifth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Everyone in Quinnipiac’s starting five and maybe into the early spots of its bench are a formidable threat to score. Mackenzie DeWees, who is the second highest scorer during conference play and is coming off an 18-point performance, did not even record a bucket until the 2:13 mark of the first quarter. But it was apparent that they did not even need her to score since they already had a sizable lead of 17 which expanded to 20 at halftime.
Rider was outscored 20-7 in the second quarter and in that span was crippled in every area. Quinnipiac forced 15 turnovers and converted them into as many points.
“They’ve got a lot of scorers, I think they’re really balanced this year,” MIlligan said. “Obviously Morris is playing great this year. They’ve got some shooters to spread it open. [Rose] Caverly does a great job running their offense [and] keeping them in flow. They’ve got a lot of weapons we just got to do a better job at taking them away.”
Games like this one have been all too common for the women’s basketball team this season. It is now looking at a 2-14 overall record and 1-10 conference record.. Holding a double-digit deficit, junior guard Amdna Mobley becomes tasked with trying to boost the morale of a team that looked deflated on the court.
“I just try to get people to focus on what they did good,” Mobley said. “If there’s a turnover or mess up, [I] tell them don’t worry about it, keep playing we’ll get it back. Just trying to talk to them positively in the huddle.”
As for the postgame conversation, it is a similar one Milligan has given time and time again this year, saying, “they’re not fun to keep having.” But for as young of a team as she possesses, she feels the best thing they can do is play in hopes of getting better.
“This team needs to play and if that means taking some lumps that we don’t want to be taking, then so be it.”
Rider will close out the Quinnipiac series on Jan. 23 at 1 p.m.
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