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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

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rider women eager to improve on 15-win season

Photo by Jackie Schear/ Coach Lynn Milligan gives instructions at practice.

LAWRENCEVILLE — Coming off their most successful season in the past 18 years, it’s little surprise Lynn Milligan and the Rider women are itching to hit the court.

The Broncs went 15-15 a season ago, amassing their most wins since registering 16 during the 1994-95 campaign. Only once in that time span had they finished at least .500, going 14-14 in 1999-2000.

Now the goal for Milligan, in her seventh season, is to build off that success.

The season tips off Friday night with a trip to Lafayette.

Senior forward MyNeshia McKenzie is the go-to player for Rider. She’s coming off a season in which she averaged 14.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and earned First Team All-MAAC honors.

“She’s on a little bit of a mission,” Milligan said. “She wants to finish her career on a high note. She wants to bring this program to the next step and feel like she’s leaving it in the right place.”

The Broncs have to replace scoring center Caitlin Bopp, point guard Sironda Chambers and jack-of-all trades Carleigh Brown, all of whom contributed to the team’s fourth-place finish in the conference.

Rider will have the service of Cincinnati transfer Lashay Banks, who is eligible after sitting out last season per NCAA rules. The offense could also get a boost form Shereen Lightbourne, a senior making her return following two years out with knee injuries.

Point guard duties will be shared by the foreign duo of Manon Pellet (France) and Kornelija Valiuskyte (Lithuania).

“They both have really worked hard and put themselves in a situation to do that,” Milligan said.

The key player this season, though, could be junior guard Emily Fazzini.

The former Philadelphia Catholic League star at Archbishop Carroll returned a month early from reconstructive ankle surgery and averaged 6.4 points per game in 26 appearances.

Milligan wants her to be a double-figure scorer in 2013-14.

“She’s healthy,” Milligan said. “Was she ever really 100 percent last year? I don’t know. I really don’t know. She’s had a great summer and a great spring. I think she’s ready to take that next step. She’s a junior guard captain. The next step for her is to be a presence on this team and in this conference.”

Marist has won eight consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles and nine overall. While the conference Queens will likely get their 10th this season, the race behind them is wide open.

The Broncs expect to be in that mix.


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