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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Thursday, November 8, 2012

HOOPS PREVIEW: Rider women hope experience pays off

LAWRENECEVILLE — Nobody wants success for the Rider women’s program more than Lynn Milligan.

The head coach, now in her sixth season, is trying to put her alma mater back on the college-basketball map.

“This is a special place for me, having played here and worn the uniform,” Milligan said. “I want it to be the best.”

The Broncs have been far from that over the past five seasons. They are 38-113 overall, 20-70 in the MAAC and 0-5 in the conference tournament.

But Milligan knew the type of job she was walking into when she accepted it. There was a building process that was going to take time.

“Do I feel like we’re building a program the right way? Yes,” she said. “Do I wish it happened faster? Yes. I am happy with what we’ve done and with the steps we’ve taken.

“We’ve hit a couple roadblocks that some we didn’t have control over and some we probably did. But as far as building this program and having the type of players we want in this program, I’m thrilled.”

If last season was any indication, there is some optimism. Rider started 8-3 before being ravaged by injuries and going 3-15 in the MAAC. Still, its 11 wins were the most under Milligan.

The Broncs return several experienced upperclassmen, including junior MyNeshia McKenzie, senior Caitlin Bopp and graduate student Carleigh Brown.

McKenzie, a preseason Second-Team selection, led the conference in rebounding (9.1) and averaged 10.1 points per game. Bopp averaged 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and was a preseason Third-Team pick. Brown has made 64 career starts.

Other key contributors are sophomore Emily Fazzini (7.1 ppg) and senior point guard Sironda Chambers (10 ppg).

“We’re a veteran team this year and we haven’t had that in a while,” Milligan said. “We have seniors and juniors who have played a lot of minutes and they are ready to go. The seniors have set their expectations really high and they are working really hard to get there.”

All that experience means little if it doesn’t translate into wins.

For the players’ part, they’re ready to prove people wrong.

“We are doubted every year by people,” Bopp said. “I’ve dealt with that for three years and I’m not dealing with it for my fourth year. I’m sick of it. I’m just ready to prove everyone wrong and we’re going to do it this year.”

Rider begins the season Friday night at Stony Brook before opening the home slate on Nov. 12 against NJIT.


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