Going into Saturday evening, the Slippery Rock Women’s basketball team was riding a five game losing streak, a streak that they hoped to end against PSAC-West rival Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Entering the contest, the Crimson Hawks (15-5 overall, 10-4 PSAC) were ranked third in the PSAC-West division, trailing Gannon and Edinboro respectively.
The Crimson Hawks demonstrated why they’ve earned their third place ranking, creating a commanding lead over the Rock at half time, 41-19.
“We are constantly evaluating what we did well and what needs improvement whether it be at practice, during film review or at halftime,” head coach Tanya Longo said about the team’s approach during the halfway break. “We are constantly evaluating and refocusing.”
The lead proved to be too extreme to overcome and the Rock was beat by a score of 77-48.
The Rock shot 31 percent (18-58) from the field as well as a rough 20 percent (5-20) from behind the arc.
Both IUP’s bench as well as SRU’s provided their respective teams with 15 points each.
“A big part of our offense is to knock down the perimeter shots, but that is dictated by the opponent and the offense they play,” Longo said regarding their 3-point shots.
“With our personnel, we’re a bit depleted in the post. Our stronger shooters are perimeter
players. By design, we want a balance between the post and perimeter, but right now we are a little overloaded on perimeter players.”
Sophomore D’Asia Chambers led the Rock with a team high 10 points and six rebounds followed by senior Erinne Cunningham with eight points, six rebounds, and six assists.
On Wednesday evening, the Rock hosted the Clarion University Golden Eagles (11-11 overall, 7-9 PSAC) in another PSAC-West conference match at Morrow Field House.
With seven lead changes during the game between the two teams combined, the contest proved to be a nail-biter down to the very end for fans of both squads.
Slippery Rock trailed the Golden Eagles by two points (32-34) going into halftime and came onto the court for the second half to establish their own two point lead over the Golden Eagles (56-54) with 7:11 left to play in the game.
Clarion took notice of the Rock’s offensive command and put together their own 10-point run for the lead with two 3-point shots and two field goals.
“It wasn’t any one thing, it was a combination of not executing every trip down the court, but we also had too many turnovers,” Longo said about the late game loss to the Golden Eagles. “On the defensive end, we had some missed opportunities and they scored some vital three pointers.”
SRU cut the lead to five points with 2:51 left in the game, but could not put the necessary stretch of points together to end their six game losing streak, falling to the Golden Eagles by a score of 74-68.
The Rock was lead by senior Christa Wodarczyk, scoring a career-high 19 points in the close contest. Cunningham tallied 13 points, as well as providing six assists during the contest.
“We need to put together solid minutes of basketball to break our streak,” Coach Longo said in regards to the current losing streak.
With six games remaining in the regular season, three will be played on the Rock’s home court and three on the road.
The next game will be a PSAC contest against the Mercyhurst Lakers Saturday at 1 p.m.
With two more wins this season, the Rock will tie the second most team wins in a season since the 2008-09 season when the team went 11-16.