The Slippery Rock women’s basketball team improved to 11-10 overall following a non-conference 84-61 win over Point Park University (PPU) on Saturday at Morrow Field House.
The win was an all-around team effort in every aspect of the game, as SRU set season highs in three offensive categories. SRU shot 50 percent (31-for-62) from the field, with a season high in field goals made, three-pointers made (10) and assists (25). The Rock was solid on defense, forcing the Pioneers into 16 turnovers and holding them to a 38.2 (21-for-55) field goal percentage.
SRU head coach Bobby McGraw was happy with his team’s efforts on Saturday, recognizing how well PPU is as an out-of-conference opponent.
“Tony has done a great job at Point Park in his fourth year down there, they’ve won two conference titles, been in the National Tournament, and they hang their hat on defense,” McGraw said. “We just played well and earned every point today. Even though at the end we started giving up some buckets, we played very well defensively today.”
Senior Lexi Carpenter led The Rock with 15 points, six assists, six rebounds and one steal. Carpenter has continued her dominance this season, and Coach McGraw gives her all the credit in the world.
“She’s the best point guard in the conference, it makes the coach look very smart when you have the best point guard in the conference,” McGraw said. “When you have a point guard that’s as good as her, and we were playing good defense in the half court then rebounding the ball to her. She’s so good in transition, it was like a lay-up drill for her to find the open shooter.”
Sophomore Ciara Patterson added to the offensive outburst by scoring 14 points. Patterson also added nine rebounds, five assists and three steals. Junior Audrey Stapleton came off the bench to add 14 points and a career-high in assists with five. Sophomore Krista Pietropola and senior Sarah Beckham also came off the bench to score seven points each.
Carpenter and Patterson have made a huge impact on The Rock thus far, having left their former schools to come to SRU, strengthening the rest of the team and their depth on the roster.
“Both of them started at the Division I level for a reason, they are both very good basketball players,” McGraw said. “It wasn’t the right fit for them at their schools, but I’m glad they found a home with us.”
Senior Megan Hardiman also added 11 points for The Rock while fellow starter sophomore Mallory Heinle recorded nine points and five rebounds.
With plenty of games left on the schedule this season, the team looks to do more than have just a double-digit win season. Winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title is on their minds.
“They don’t want to hear people telling them we haven’t had back-to-back double-digit win seasons in 10 years,” McGraw said. “They have their eyes on the PSAC title, and anything can happen. We have to make sure we get in the conference tournament to win it. Today’s performance was a good indication, we’ll be ready for Edinboro on Wednesday.”
SRU looks to have a stronger performance Wednesday against conference opponent Edinboro. The Fighting Scots bested SRU in the team’s last meeting 83-66, but McGraw understands what must be done to win this time around.
“We all realize what they did to us up there, they pounded us and it was one of our two worst performances overall this year,” McGraw said. “We’ll look at the last film, and build off of that. This a pivotal game for us in the conference.”
Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. at Morrow Field House.