Fighting Scots’ high-tempo offense knocks down Rock
The first and last place PSAC-West teams faced off at Morrow Field House Wednesday night, with the top team coming out with an 82-64 victory.
The Slippery Rock women’s basketball team (5-19, 2-12 PSAC-West) entered Wednesday night’s game against the Edinboro Fighting Scots (19-5, 13-1 PSAC-West) sitting last in the PSAC-West.
Their performance against the Fighting Scots reflected their record.
“They (Edinboro) have a national championship caliber team,” SRU head coach Tanya Longo said. “The better team won tonight. We can’t match up with them player to player.”
SRU entered the game coming off their fifth win against the season coming against the Mercyhurst Lakers last Wednesday, 70-63. It looked like a different basketball team on the court last week.
The Rock converted 45 percent (27 of 60) of their shots on Wednesday night for points with 23 percent (3 of 13) shooting efficiency from behind the arc for three. SRU shot 54 percent (7 of 13) from the free throw line, frequently missing essential first shots in one-and-one situations, which would have awarded the team another attempt.
No surprise that junior D’Asia Chambers, with a game high 23 points and eight rebounds, led SRU against the Fighting Scots. This was Chambers’ sixth game of the season with 23 or more points.
“I feel like as a junior I gotta do what I have to for the team,” Chambers said. “I know they would do the same for me. No matter what’s going on I am going to play my hardest for them.”
Chambers currently sits fourth overall in the PSAC in points per game with 17.3.
Senior Jazmyne frost contributed 14 points and six rebounds in the loss. Sophomore Erica Aiello scored 10 points for the Rock.
The Fighting Scots shot 46 percent (34 of 74) from the field Wednesday night, only slightly superior to SRU. From behind the arc, Edinboro shot 21 percent (3 of 14) and from the free throw line, the ladies in red shot 79 percent (11 of 14).
The Fighting Scots held an 18-7 advantage in points off turnovers and an upper hand in rebounding 48-32.
The tempo Edinboro played at caught Slippery Rock off guard on defense.
“We work on transition offense every day and we have really been focusing on rebounding,” Fighting Scots head coach Stanley Swank said. “If we can rebound, the rest of our game is pretty strong.”
Edinboro saw four of their starters score at least 16 points Wednesday.
Senior Darche’ Jackson tied the game high 23 point performance of Chambers and added five rebounds. Junior Laurel Lindsay tallied 18 points in the win and sophomore Lauren Hippo added 16 points. Sophomore Aignee Freeland scored 16 points and brought down 13 rebounds for her 11th double double of the season.
“We didn’t defend as we should have,” Chambers said. “That’s what it boils down to. You can’t give up 50 points in the first half. It was tough but we don’t like doing anything easy. We are a come from behind team.”
SRU held the lead for the first two minutes of play, but after the Fighting Scots took an 8-6 lead, they never looked back.
The Rock trailed 27-50 at the end of the first half.
Edinboro was outscored by the Rock in the second half 32-37, but the second effort was far too little too late to give Slippery Rock a chance at making a comeback.
“We changed our defense in the second half but with Edinboro it’s really about picking your poison,” coach Longo said. “They really are complete.”
With only two games remaining in the season, SRU looks to end their season on a positive streak.
The Rock travels to Greensburg, Pa. on Saturday to face off against the Griffins of Seton Hill University (12-12, 4-10) with tip-off at 1 p.m.
The final game of the season comes Wednesday night at home against the Crimson Hawks of Indiana University of Pa. (16-8, 7-7 PSAC) with tip off at 6 p.m.