LAWRENCEVILLE — The Emily Fazzini the Rider women expected to see is starting to show up.
Fazzini scored 20 points, two off her career high, and the Broncs
used a 20-0 run in the first half, racing past winless St. Peter’s for a
74-51 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory Thursday night at
Following a slow start to the season because of offseason ankle
surgery that cost her the first four games, Fazzini, a sophomore guard,
is beginning to look like the player coach Lynn Milligan thought she
would be when she nabbed her from Philadelphia Catholic League program
“She’s finding her groove,” Milligan said. “I think you’re starting
to see the real Emily Fazzini. She feels good. She’s healthy. She’s
confident in her shot and not afraid to take the shot.”
The coach challenged Fazzini to play well after the team’s loss to Niagara a week ago.
Fazzini’s response has been what Milligan anticipated. She scored
17 points in a loss to Canisius two days later and then got 20 Thursday
night. She’s reached double-figures in three of her last four.
“Just because I’m back on the floor, doesn’t mean I’m back mentally,”
said Fazzini, who didn’t expect to be cleared to play until the end of
December following reconstructive surgery on her right ankle but made it
back a month early.
“It took a while to get my momentum back. You have to just keep
building and getting your flow back. I’m shooting extra and it’s really
Fazzini connected of 7 of 12 from the field, including five
first-half 3s that helped Rider open up a 41-16 lead at intermission.
Fazzini said she wasn’t much of a shooter in high school, but rather a combo guard that drove the ball to the basket.
“I didn’t really come in that big of an outside shooter,” said
Fazzini, admitting her father keeps telling her to take it to the hole.
“The coaches here put a lot of extra time in with you to make you what
they think you have the potential to be. They saw a lot of outside
shooting with me and helped me. It’s really paying off.”
Fazzini is quickly blowing up her 4.6 points per game average.
“By the end of the season I think you’ll see (her in
double-figures),” Milligan said. “It’s all about her putting in the
extra time like she does. … When she’s confident, they go in.”
Rider (8-10, 3-4) finally snapped the St. Peter’s hex. The Peahens
had won the last four and 14 of the previous 16.l They still hold a
42-10 advantage in the all-time series even with the Broncs’ win Friday
“They’re obviously struggling this year, but for me, it was more
like, it’s St. Peter’s and we haven’t played well against them,”
Milligan said. “I was really happy to take care of business tonight.”
Caitlin Bopp finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double this season and 23rd of her career.
Sironda Chambers added 15 points and MyNesiha McKenzie 10.
Kristal Edwards led St. Peter’s (0-18, 0-7) with 15 points and Aziza May finished with 14.
The Broncs held the Peahens to 25.4 percent (18 of 71) from the floor and built the lead to as much as 29 in the second half.
Rider seized control with a 20-0 run in the first half, holding the
Peahens scoreless for 10:30 and without a field goal for the final
During that stretch, Fazzini connected on three of her five first-half 3s. The last of which gave the Broncs a 38-14 lead.
Hala Moustafa finally snapped St. Peter’s drought with two free
throws, but Fazzini answered with her fourth 3 of the period, giving
Rider a 41-16 lead at intermission.