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University of Pennsylvania 66, Rider University 58

Women’s College Basketball

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Despite a 16 point, nine rebound effort from junior Shaunice Parker (Waldorf, Md./West Lake), Rider (3-3) lost a non-conference game at the Palestra Wednesday night against Penn (3-3).  “It was a game of runs and we didn’t get that one big stop that we needed to regain the momentum at the end of the game,” said head coach Lynn Milligan.  “We didn’t rise to the occasion on the defensive end and Penn was a little more physical on the offensive end and we didn’t respond very well.”

With Rider leading 56-53 with 5:33 left in the game, the Quakers went on a 13-2 run to end the game.

On the 15th and final lead change of the game, Penn took the lead for good at 57-56 with 4:48 left on a Kimberly Franklin jumper.  Franklin finished with 15 points.

Rider cut the lead to three at 61-58 on a layup by sophomore Tammy Meyers (Willingboro) with 40 seconds left but that was as close as the Broncs would get as Carrie Biemer hit a three-pointer with 19 seconds left to put the game away.  Biemer led all scorers with 19 points.  Meyers finished with seven points for the Broncs.

“We didn’t get a lot of clean looks,” Milligan said.  “We had 23 field goals and only eight assists.  Some of our shots were a little rushed.  Penn had a good defensive game plan, they were physical where they needed to be and sagged off when they needed to with a ‘man zone’.  We just need to communicate better and do a better job of setting each other up.”

Also for Rider, senior Janele Henderson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) had 15 points and two steals with sophomore Amanda Sepulveda (Perth Amboy, N.J./Hun School) adding 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.

“Our defensive effort was not where it needed to be to beat a disciplined offensive team like Penn,” Milligan added.

Down 20-18 with 11 minutes remaining in the first half, Rider went on an 8-2 run, three points each by Parker and Sepulveda opening up a four point lead (26-22) with six minutes remaining in the opening period and the teams were tied 29-29 at the half.

The game saw Milligan return to the City of Philadelphia, where she coached for 12 seasons, first at Drexel and then for the last six years at Saint Joseph’s.  “The city is a great place for basketball,” said Milligan.  “The Palestra is one of the most if not the most historical basketball arena in the country and to play there is special.  We tried to educate the players on the significance of where they were playing.  Anytime you get a chance to play in the city, especially the Palestra, it is special.”

Penn leads the all-time series 6-1 against Rider and has won six in a row against the Broncs.

Undefeated at home, Rider hosts the Tigers of Towson on Sunday in a 2:00pm non-conference game at Alumni Gym on the Lawrenceville campus.

“It was a game where our effort wasn’t what it needed to be and that was disappointing,” Milligan said.  “We need to go back to the drawing board on some of our basic defensive fundamentals and concepts because we will be facing a strong Towson team on Sunday.”

-RU-

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