The Rider women’s basketball team suffered a 66-58 road loss to the University of Pennsylvania after defeating the University of Central Florida (UCF) last week, 76-74.
On Wednesday night, the Broncs (3-3) led 56-53 before Penn went on a 13-2 run to clinch a Quaker win. After 15 lead changes, Penn claimed the final change 57-56 with four minutes left in the game.
In an attempt to come back, Rider closed the gap to 61-58 with a layup by sophomore Tammy Meyers before Penn put the game away.
“It was a game of runs and we didn’t get that one big stop that we needed to regain the momentum at the end of the game,” said Head Coach Lynn Milligan to Rider Sports Information. “We didn’t rise to the occasion on the defensive end and Penn was a little more physical on the offensive end and we didn’t respond very well.”
Before the half, Rider fell 20-18 before going on an 8-2 run to open up a four-point lead, 26-22. The teams were later tied at 29.
Junior Shaunice Parker led the Broncs with 16 points and nine rebounds, while senior Janele Henderson followed closely behind with 15 points and two steals. Sophomore Amanda Sepulveda added 11 points, four rebounds and two assists in the Rider loss, while Meyers finished with seven points.
“We have a lot to work on,” Milligan said. “We’ve been consistent with defense and rebounding. That being the foundation of our programming, the foundation of our success, we’ll continue to try to get better defensively and rebounding.”
Still undefeated at home, Rider picked up another win in front of the Broncs’ Zoo crowd over the break. Rider maintained a 71-65 lead before UCF (2-3) went on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 73.
The Broncs claimed victory with a layup by freshman Shannon Ferguson to secure a win in the last 27 seconds of play.
“It was a great play,” said Milligan. “It was all set up by Amanda, who had a great second half and had been scoring off penetration quite a bit. So, they sent two defenders at her, and when they did she made a great decision and found Shannon wide open and Shannon did what she had to do: catch the ball and put it in the basket.”
The Knights had a chance to answer with 1.6 seconds left until Parker stole an inbound pass on the final play of the game.
The Broncs opened the game with a 10-2 run, four points claimed by Meyers. UCF later tied the game at 21 before going on a 12-3 run with 3:49 left in the first half. Rider trailed the Knights by seven going into the half.
Sepulveda led Rider with a career-high 23 points along with four assists and two steals, while Meyers finished with 14 points and three steals. Ferguson added eight points, going perfect from the field and the line, while adding seven rebounds.
“I think we’ve learned how to compete on a more consistent basis,” Milligan said. “We’ve played some really quality teams and we have been able to be competitive in every single game. We’ve been out there and we’ve fought. We’ve done what we needed to do in order to put ourselves in the situation to win every game.”
Rider plays at home against Towson on Sunday at 2 p.m.