By Josh Veltrie
Rider’s women’s basketball team suffered a tough 67-65 loss at the hands of Fairfield on Friday night. The loss probably impacted Sunday’s game in which the Broncs were defeated by St. Peter’s 74-63, according to Head Coach Lynn Milligan.
Against Fairfield (16-8, 11-2 MAAC), Rider (8-16, 5-8 MAAC) held a 16-point lead with 10 minutes left in the second half before the Stags went on a 22-4 run. The Broncs were unable to get a bucket in the last two minutes of the game while senior Shireyll Moore of Fairfield scored the last six points for the Stags, including the game winner with 1:44 left.
“Fairfield is a very good team tied for first place in the MAAC, and we just let that game slip through our fingers,” said Milligan. “We had breakdowns in our defense in the second half and we had trouble scoring against their zone at the end of the game.”
Junior Tammy Meyers led Rider with 18 points, also adding four rebounds and four assists. Senior Shaunice Parker and junior Amanda Sepulveda both played well for Rider, compiling 11 points and five boards and 12 points, respectively.
“We had a great team effort Friday night; Shaunice, Tammy and Amanda all stepped up and played well, but we just fell a little short,” said Milligan.
In the loss to St. Peters (9-13, 6-7 MAAC), the Broncs made a strong comeback, trimming a 13-point deficit to only four with seven minutes left in the second half. That would be as close as Rider would get since the Peacocks responded with a 10-1 run of their own to seal the game.
“St. Peter’s has a very different style of play than Fairfield, and I believe we could have used more than just a day of preparation for them,” said Milligan. “We weren’t very good defensively, and we struggled at times in our transition defense and rebounding.”
Meyers led the Broncs with 19 points and seven assists while teammate Parker tallied a double-double, compiling 11 points and 10 rebounds. Sepulveda also had 11 points for Rider.
Rider has two more conference games coming up this weekend; they host Manhattan in the Sovereign Bank Arena on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Niagara then comes to the Alumni Gym to play the Broncs on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“This is a really big weekend for us; we have beaten both of these team earlier in the season, so we know what it takes to get a win,” said Milligan. “We just need to play solid defense and rebound and we should be in a position to win the game.”