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Rider Rallies to Overtake Stags

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – Stella Johnson scored a game-high 35 points including the game-winning lay-up as Rider rallied to overtake the Fairfield University Women's Basketball team 62-59. Three Stags reached double figures with Khadidiatou Diouf leading the way with 16 points and nine rebounds. The Stags enjoyed one of their best shooting games of the season, connecting on 67 percent from 3-point land (6-for-9) and 90 percent of their free throws, helping them control most of the early portion of the game while building a lead by as many as 14. Fairfield led by 14 midway through the third quarter after Casey Foleyswished through a 3-pointer forcing a Rider timeout. The Broncs found their offensive rhythm after the stoppage, ending the third quarter on an 11-2 run and out-scoring the Stags 22-14 in the final quarter. Johnson would tie the game with a 3-pointer knotting the score at 57-57 before hitting a lay-up with 2.8 seconds left to complete the comeback. Fairfield had one more chance at tying the game but the pass inside went wide. The Stags' were at their best when Rider's Amari Johnson went down with her second foul five minutes into the first quarter. Johnson had recorded three steals during that early stretch while the Stags would commit four turnovers. The Stags took advantage, committing just one turnover over the final 15 minutes of the half. Another reason for the decrease in miscues was the precise passing and execution of the Stags. Diouf was the focal point in the second quarter, netting 12 of the team's 20 points including eight-straight to give a 15-12 advantage to the road team. Rider's main offensive presence Stella Johnson responded to Diouf's run by scoring all but two of the team's points in the second period. Her 3-pointer near the two-minute mark put the Broncs with two points at 21-19. Fairfield would extend their mini-lead by netting six of the final eight points of the half. Casey Foley connected on a big fast break 3-point from the wing to put nearly the final touches on a 27-21 halftime lead. The Stags continued their offensive flow during the first five minutes of the second half, out-scoring the Broncs 10-4 during that stretch. Foley swished in her second 3-pointer of the game to force a Rider timeout and give the Stags their biggest lead up to that point at 37-25. Foley also had a helping hand setting up the offense, assisting on three of the first six baskets of the third quarter. The Broncs would make their run after the called timeout, ending the quarter on an 11-2 run. The Broncs actually cut the Stags lead to just three points before Katie Armstrong netted five-straight points. The Stags would hit six of their first eight 3-pointers but none were as eye catching as Lou Lopez Senechal's midway through the fourth quarter. The freshman unleashed a high arching shot that hit nothing but net and put the Fairfield lead back to nine. Rider would cut the Fairfield lead to just one as a Lea Favre lay-up capped an 8-0 run for the Broncs and after the two teams traded baskets, Stella Johnson played heroics in finishing with 35 points. The Stags committed three turnovers in the final five minutes. Diouf led the Stags with 16 points and nine rebounds and was joined in the double figures club with Lopez-Senechal (15) and Foley (14). Lopez-Senechal and Foley combined to go 5-for-5 from behind the arc. Foley also led the Stags with five assists and three steals. The Stags are back in action on Saturday when they host Marist at 2pm.

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