Rock senior forward D’Asia Chambers paved the way for the Rock women’s basketball team, earning her 15 career double-double in SRU’s 66-43 win over Salem International.
Slippery Rock’s first-year head coach Bobby McGraw was filled with pride for his players’ effort in the season-opener.
“These ladies worked incredibly hard this preseason and definitely deserved to get this win,” McGraw said. “They put everything they’ve learned into force in that first half, and that’s how we were able to jump out to such a big lead.”
Chambers went 6-8 from the field, scoring 13 points along with grabbing 14 rebounds. Chambers was also able to contribute five assists, as well as coming up with two steals.
During the first half, the Rock was in complete control, jumping out to a 27-0 lead in first 11 minutes of the game. Salem International’s first points did not come until 9:23 remaining in the first half.
“That 27-0 lead was built by our defense and didn’t really have much to do with our offense,” Coach McGraw said. “There was intensity on the defensive end and so much effort from the group tonight, it makes me so incredibly proud of them.”
As a team, the Green and White shot a 44.6 shooting percentage (29 for 65), along with shooting 22.1 percent from beyond the three-point line. SRU was able to grab more rebounds than the Tigers, out-muscling them under the rim 44-32.
The Rock was able to put a lot of pressure on Salem International’s defense, forcing 30 Tiger turnovers, as well as coming up with 16 steals.
Slippery Rock was also able to benefit from a strong performance out of junior guard Erica Aiello, who matched Chambers with 13 points, as well as five assists. Aiello also stepped for SRU on the defensive end, grabbing a career-high seven steals.
Senior forward Danielle Garroutte, junior guard Taylor Siggers, and freshman forward Mallory Heinle were also among the Rock’s top scorer’s, earning eight points each. Freshman guard Sierra Fordham was also able to off the bench and get four points for the Green and White, going 2-3 in field goal attempts.
Coach McGraw also acknowledged that by the Rock building such a big lead, it was the perfect opportunity to get some of the younger players off of the bench and see how they can perform on the court.
“We have 16 players who come and work hard for our team every day,” McGraw said. “16 players on our team deserve to play, but there’s one basketball and we are only allowed to use five players at a time. Those girls who were coming off the bench deserve to play and it’s good to give them some playing time. A lot of credit goes to our starters who went in did their jobs well enough to give those girls the opportunity to get in.”
The Rock will have a few days off before heading north to Erie to take on Gannon University on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.