EDISON — Junior MyNeshia McKenzie (Springfield, Pa./Springfield (Delco)) of the Rider University women’s basketball team was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week it was announced Monday afternoon (Jan. 14).
McKenzie was honored for all games played Jan. 7-13.
A 5-11 forward and preseason Second Team All-MAAC honoree, McKenzie averaged 20.5 points and 13.0 rebounds in Rider’s two games last week, a one-point loss to Canisius and an overtime win at Loyola.
“Monster games,” said head coach Lynn Milligan. “She is doing so much more than scoring and that is a huge step for her. She is leading us, getting rebounds, getting assists and steals and is being a more multifaceted player.”
Against the ‘Hounds on Sunday, McKenzie scored 19 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and was 13-14 from the free throw line as Rider rallied from 16 points down with less than six minutes left in the game to force overtime in the eventual 81-74 win. McKenzie also had six steals in 39 minutes.
McKenzie scored 22 points in Rider’s 51-50 loss to Canisius and added 13 rebounds, four steals and two assists.
McKenzie averaged 37.5 minutes per game for the week and is averaging 18.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in MAAC play this season, recording a ‘double-double’ in three of the four conference contests.
“We’ve talked about having her show her capabilities every day,” Milligan said. “I think you are seeing that on a more consistent day to day basis. All-conference players don’t take days off and all-conference players, during MAAC play step up and help lead their team. MyNeshia has taken that advice to heart.”
Rider’s leading scorer, McKenzie is fourth in the MAAC averaging 14.2 points per game and she is ranked 57th nationally in free throw percentage (83.9) and is second in the conference and 66th nationally averaging 9.5 rebounds per game.
“MyNeshia is finding ways to score,” Milligan added. “Offensive rebounds, getting to the free throw line, making short jumpers; she is finding ways to score without us running specific plays for her and that makes us more dangerous as a team.”
McKenzie’s 635 rebounds are eighth best all-time at Rider.
This is the third MAAC Player of the Week honoree for Rider (7-8, 2-2 MAAC) this season with seniors Sironda Chambers (Wilmington, Del.) and Caitlin Bopp (Baltimore, Md./Inst. of Notre Dame) recognized December 3 and 10 respectively.
“For us to have three players of the week is great,” Milligan added. “But to do that with three different players really says something about how unselfish our team really is. We aren’t built just around one player. It says something about the team being unselfish and makes me proud of the work ethic that every player has. These are really team awards that everyone shares in.”
Winners of six road games this season, the Broncs travel to Western, New York to face Niagara on Friday at 7 p.m. before facing Canisius on Sunday at 2 p.m.