The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team opened up its 2016-2017 season by playing in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA)-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Challenge on Friday and Saturday at Brayboy Gymnasium in Charlotte, N.C. The team, winning 80-79 on Friday and 67-58 on Saturday, now starts the season 2-0 before returning home to begin their quest for a PSAC championship.
To begin the weekend, The Rock took on the Johnson C. Smith University Golden Bulls. Although trailing 40-32 at the half and playing from behind for a good part of the game, the Green and White was able to prevail and come back by unleashing an 8-0 run in the final two minutes of the game, claiming victory over the Golden Bulls with a narrow 80-79 final score.
Freshman Brooke Hinderliter started off her collegiate career by putting up 18 points (going six for nine from the field) and four rebounds against the Golden Bulls. Rock point guard Lexi Carpenter began the season with 15 points (going six for 13 from the field), four rebounds and two steals. Junior forward Mallory Heinle had 14 points and nine rebounds while sophomore center Morgan Henderson recorded eight points, including the what would be a game-winning free throw with 45 seconds left in the game and one steal. Senior transfer Cassidy Wright, junior guard Krista Pietropola and freshman forward LeeAnn Gibson combined for a total of 23 points, three assists and six steals.
The Rock’s second victory of the year came the very next day when they took on the Fayetteville State University Broncos. This game, unlike the one during the previous day, was controlled primarily by the Green and White. The Broncos jumped to an early lead but by halftime, The Rock was leading 29-25. Fayetteville threatened Slippery Rock’s lead multiple times but no true damage was done as the team was able to take down the Broncos with a final score of 67-58.
Carpenter scored 19 points (going five for 11 from the field), while forcing six turnovers and having three steals. Heinle recorded six points, seven rebounds and forcing three turnovers while Hinderliter, again, had an impressive performance with eight points (going three for six from the field), one assist and forced one turnover. Rock junior Sierra Fordham had 10 points, two assists and forced three turnovers. Henderson scored a career-high 15 points, 12 rebounds (one shy from a career high 13), forced six turnovers and three steals.
Slippery Rock will continue its stretch of eight consecutive road games with their first PSAC matchup on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Shippensburg University. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.