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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, February 7, 2014

Broncs' McKenzie validates POY credentials

Coach Lynn Milligan and MyNeshia McKenzie. Photo by John Blaine

LAWRENCEVILLE — Lynn Milligan refers to February as "go time."

She defines that as the time of year that seniors need to step up and be accounted for. The Rider women's coach just happens to have the top senior in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on her side.

All you could do was marvel at MyNeshia McKenzie after she turned in a 37-point, 19-rebound performance in the Broncs' 92-90 overtime upset of Iona Thursday night that snapped the Gaels' 18-game winning streak.

"MyNeshia is a very talented young lady," Milligan said. "I'll put her up against anybody."

Against Iona, McKenzie outplayed reigning MAAC Player of the Year Damika Martinez (20 points, fouled out with 3:39 left), announcing that this isn't a one-player race to the league's MVP award.

"I hope a lot of people watched on ESPN (last night) because I think you saw arguably the three best players in the league put on a fantastic show," Milligan said. "Damika Martinez and Joy Adams are outstanding players in this league and they are carrying the MAAC flag very strong this year, but don't sleep on MyNeshia McKenzie.

"February is go time and we talk about how seniors have to play in February. This is their time. They're clock's ticking and they know that. So there is a sense of urgency."

The Broncs may have also burst the Gaels' NCAA bubble along the way. Iona (19-3, 12-1) has a high quantity of wins, but outside of a road victory at Marist — one that snapped the Red Foxes' 36-game MAAC winning streak — it lacks quality wins.

The Gaels still have Marist at home and the two could square off again in the final of the conference tournament.

That is to say if Rider doesn't have anything to say about it.

If anything, the Broncs (11-11, 7-6) proved they can beat the top teams. It makes you wonder how they could lose at home to Manhattan and Canisius.

"We're thrilled with this win," Milligan said. "I'm thrilled with my team's performance. With just the grit and heart we showed for 45 minutes. We bent a couple times. We didn't break and I'm really proud of that."

As for McKenzie, she became the program's all-time leading rebounder, passing Jess Beck and matched the single-game record for points.

By the time this season ends, she'll likely finish in the top four in career points. Not that she's ready to stop and think about that right now.

"Maybe at the end of the season it will come to me and I'll feel great about it," McKenzie said. "Right now, I'm just worried about hanging a banner. That's all I'm worried about."


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