Rider wins again off buzzer-beating shot

By Kadie Digiuseppe

Coming off a much-needed win last week, Rider women’s basketball headed to New Rochelle, New York, on Feb. 15 to take on Iona, hoping to get another win against the Gaels. 

The Broncs took the game down to the wire, but escaped with a 45-43 win after a buzzer-beating jumper from graduate student guard Taylor Langan.

The Broncs had a rough patch at the beginning of 2024 but have picked things up on both sides of the court. 

During the first quarter, the Broncs outscored the Gaels 16-11 with help from senior guard Makayla Firebaugh, who had seven points during the quarter.

Last game against Iona, Firebaugh scored a career-high 24 points, and was just as dominant in the rematch, leading the Broncs with 15 points and going 4-for-4 on free throws. 

When asked what she thinks contributes most to her strong performances against Iona, Firebaugh said, “It’s all about my mentality when I’m playing against tough opponents like Iona. It’s a challenge that I embrace, and it motivates me to bring my ‘A’ game. … Then, as well, just my teammates believing in me.”

Rider offensively dominated the first half of the rematch, but both teams started to slip in scoring coming back from the locker room in the second half. 

The two teams combined only scored 15 points in the third quarter, but by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, it was clear that it was anyone’s game. 

Rider led going into the last quarter but gave up the lead with less than seven minutes in regulation.

Down to the wire with less than two minutes left, junior guard Sanaa Redmond gave the Broncs a one-point lead. 

With only a few seconds to go, Rider drew a foul to stop the clock and evened the score at 43 after the free throws.

Three seconds on the clock did not stop Langan from making the winning jumper at the buzzer.

Langan recalled what was going through her mind before she took the game-winning shot: “When the ball came off my fingertips, I wasn’t sure it was gonna go in until after the first bounce at the rim and once it finally fell through the hoop I was so happy. I couldn’t believe the last 10 seconds of the game and how it ended.” 

The Broncs ended the game with their second victory of the season over Iona 45-43. 

Junior guard Mariona Cos-Morales had another solid game, helping the Broncs on both sides of the court with eight points, two steals and two blocks. 

Graduate student guard Jessika Schiffer missed Rider’s win last week at home but was 100% from the three-point line against Iona. 

Head Coach Lynn Milligan described her thoughts about the game as “very positive.” 

“We played a strong defensive game for 40 minutes. That is the difference between our last two wins,” she added. “Iona was a tough road win with a fantastic finish. We were able to put ourselves in a successful situation at the end of the game. Everyone did their jobs and Taylor was able to make a huge shot.”

Milligan said that the team “will be ready” for the next match against Saint Peter’s.

The Broncs will be back home at Alumni Gym on Feb. 22 against the Peacocks looking for revenge from the last matchup. 

Related Articles

Back to top button