Blogs > The Full-Court Press

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

MyNeshia McKenzie's record-breaking night leads Rider women to upset over Iona

MyNeshia McKenzie had 37 points and 19 rebounds in Rider's upset win. Photo by John Blaine

LAWRENCEVILLE — When the Rider women’s basketball program had the opportunity to score the signature win it has been longing for Thursday night, it finally had something the opposition didn’t.

The magnificent MyNeshia McKenzie.

The senior forward simply was not going to be denied.

On a night when she became the program’s all-time leading rebounder and tied the record for most points in a game, the Broncs got arguably their biggest victory in program history, snapping Iona’s 18-game winning streak with a 92-90 overtime triumph that handed the first-place Gaels their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference defeat.

McKenzie finished with 37 points and 19 rebounds.

“I never really think about big nights,” McKenzie said. “I just come out and do what I can for my team and today I was the leader. That’s the role that I’m supposed to be playing right now. Coach will tell you February is go time and that’s where big players step up and that’s what I’m trying to do for my team.”

Her 37 points matched the single-game high set by Nancy Carroll in a game against Drexel during the 1990-91 season. She also passed current assistant coach Pam Durkin, who had 35 in a 1994 contest also against Drexel.

The rebounding record came in the first half with McKenzie needing only eight to pass Jess Beck, who grabbed 1,023 from 1992-96.

“That feels great,” McKenzie said. “I felt it coming after I got my 1,000th with so many games left. I’m sure Jess Beck was a great player here and for me to exceed her record (it feels great).”

McKenzie outplayed reigning MAAC Player of the Year Damika Martinez, who finished with 20 points but was hampered by foul trouble and eventually fouled out with 3:39 remaining.

Down by just two and with the league’s leading scorer strapped to the bench, Rider (11-11, 7-6) had its chance.

Of course, it wasn’t going to come easy.

Iona (19-3, 12-1) was riding an 18-game winning streak, including a victory at Marist in that stretch that snapped the Red Foxes’ 36-game run over MAAC opponents.

Either Aleesha Powell (27 points, five 3s) or Joy Adams (23 points) had an answer for every McKenzie hoop.

Powell made two clutch free throws with a minute left after McKenzie gave Rider a 77-75 lead with a basket. A poorly executed final Broncs possession in which McKenzie passed up a shot led to a last-ditch attempt for Adams.

“In my throat,” coach Lynn Milligan said when asked where her heart was as Adams’ shot rattled around the rim before falling out.

In the extra session, McKenzie started things with a conventional three-point play before Rider got a pair of clutch baskets from Mikal Johnson and a baseline jumper from Manon Pellet.

Powell drained another 3-pointer to make it 89-88, but McKenzie answered with a tough layup.

Powell came up empty on a well-contested 3 that would’ve tied it and the Broncs survived despite being called for a technical foul with 0.3 seconds left for the bench running onto the court because it thought the game was over.

“We have kids … they’re not afraid,” Milligan said. “I like that they have enough guts to take the shots. I like when you watch your team play with no fear and an enthusiasm. They refused to lose today. That’s what it really came down to. We refused to lose.”

Lashay Banks finished with 20 points, making eight of her 11 shots from the field and Johnson added 14.

But after all was said and done there was only one question on the tip of the Alumni Gym crowds tongue: “What can ‘Mac’ do for you?”

“Don’t sleep on MyNeshia McKenzie,” Milligan said. “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. MyNeshia is a very talented young lady and I’ll put her up against anybody.”


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home