DSU women suffer overtime defeat to Rider

Sharajah Collins of Delaware State manages to score while Rider’s Amari Johnson attempts to block the shot. Special to the State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — A signature nonconference win was nearly in the cards for the Delaware State University women’s basketball team.

The Hornets held a 10-point lead with 7:30 left over Rider University. But that advantage evaporated in the closing moments.

Rider’s Lea Favre hit a short turnaround jumper with less than a second left to deal Delaware State a 71-69 overtime defeat Monday evening. It was the final nonconference contest for Delaware State, who begins Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play Saturday at 4 p.m. against Morgan State.

The Hornets dropped to 4-9 overall while Rider improved to 7-2

Rider had already beaten the likes of Penn State, Georgetown, Xavier and La Salle this season.

“They’re hurt, they’re crying in there because they wanted that win,” said DSU second-year coach Dave Caputo. “Rider was 6-2 and they had three wins over Power-5 teams so we knew it was a big game for us. But we’ll learn from it. We’re now 0-0 in league play going into Morgan State on Saturday.”

Delaware State tied the game with 10 seconds left in overtime on two free throws by Lyric Turner.

Amanda Mobley missed a three on the other end for Rider but the ball bounced out of bounds off the Hornets with three seconds left. The Broncos inbounded to Favre in the post, who took one dribble with her back to the basket before rotating to square up and drop the ball through the hoop.

Delaware State was able to inbound the ball but its desperation heave fell well short and likely came after the buzzer sounded anyway.

Rider needed more heroics to even send the game into overtime.

Delaware State was on top 60-56 with 40 seconds remaining after a free throw by Lanayjha Ashe. Caputo called his final timeout of regulation to set up his defense but the Broncos responded with a jumper by Mobley.

The Hornets were then whistled for a five-second closely guarded violation after Turner picked up her dribble in the corner which gave the ball back to Rider. Stella Johnson’s layup in the post tied the game with 11 seconds left and Delaware State was unable to get a shot off.

“The biggest thing I’m disappointed in is myself for not having an extra timeout left,” Caputo said. “I lost a timeout when I challenged a flagrant foul and I used one late to talk about our defensive coverage when we had a lead. So I didn’t have one when our kid got trapped in the corner.”

Johnson was the game’s top scorer with 29 points despite fouling out in overtime.

Sharajah Collins paced Delaware State with 21 points. Ashe added 13 while Turner followed with eight.

The Hornets led for 26:46 in the contest and were up by as much as 51-41 with 7:30 left. Rider ended regulation on a 19-9 run.

“We had a 10-point lead and we got soft defensively,” Caputo said. “We let them get easy layups. That was my concern and why I took that late timeout. So that’s what we did wrong and then what I did wrong was not having that last timeout.”

The Hornets end the nonconference portion of their schedule with four consecutive defeats. The early season was highlighted by wins over Delaware, the first in 12 tries, and St. Peter’s.

“We’ve been competitive, we’ve played a tough schedule,” Caputo said. “As we go, I think we’ll get better.”