The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team (10-14 overall, 6-14 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) comeback attempt against nationally ranked Indiana University of Pennsylvania (22-2 overall, 18-2 PSAC) came just short Wednesday evening.
SRU lost the game 86-77, despite outscoring the No. 9 Crimson Hawks in the second half.
“I was pleased by the overall effort tonight,” Rock head coach Bobby McGraw said. “It’s just unfortunate that sometimes with all this effort it can lead to another loss. We have to just focus on winning here on out.”
Rock senior D’Asia Chambers and junior Taylor Siggers led the charge for SRU, combining for 40 total points. Chambers was 8-17 from the field with 21 points, while Siggers scored 19 points shooting 8-15, and also dished out seven assists. Siggers has now scored at least 17 points in four of her last five games played.
Freshman guard Shannon Jack added nine points for the SRU offense off the bench, and sophomore guard Audrey Stapleton also contributed eight.
SRU was shorthanded Wednesday night, as both junior guards Erica Aiello and Breanna Gross were sidelined due to injury.
Despite not having them on the court, McGraw thought his girls did a great job stepping up and filling in their absence.
“Taylor Siggers played unbelievably well at the point guard position and that is not even her natural spot,” McGraw said. “I know at half time she had five assists and just one turn over and I’m so glad that she played so well there.”
Slippery Rock finished the game with a season low of just six turnovers, and shot 46.2 percent as an entire team. The Rock also shot 75 percent from the free throw line. IUP made 50.8 percent of its shot attempts, but only 60.3 percent of its free throws.
IUP senior guard and PSAC leading scorer Lindsay Stamp led the Crimson Hawks with 26 points and seven rebounds.
The Rock will now shift its focus to Sunday, where they will travel to Clarion University (2-22 overall, 1-19 PSAC) and take on the Golden Eagles.
With just two games remaining on the regular season schedule, McGraw understands that this is a must win game for his squad.
“This game will be the most important game in this programs history since the year 2000,” McGraw said. “We haven’t been in the conference tournament since 2005, and if we win Sunday it will give us our most conference wins since 2000 with seven.”
Slippery Rock now sits in the seventh spot in the PSAC-West standings, just one game behind Pitt-Johnstown (10-14 overall, 7-13 PSAC). The PSAC Conference Tournament only accepts six teams from both the western and eastern divisions.