While only entering into her second year at Slippery Rock, there is not much left that senior guard Lexi Carpenter has to prove to her team. Carpenter led The Rock in points and assists per game in 2015-16 with 17.5 and 4.4. She also averaged 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals, being one of only four players in the entire Atlantic Regional with averages that high.
Out of Forest Park High School in Woodbridge, Va., Carpenter had offers to continue her basketball career at several Division I programs. After initially attending the University of Dayton (Ohio) she then transferred to James Madison University (Va.) after her first semester to be closer to home. Carpenter then transferred again, this time to SRU’s Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) rival Indiana University (Pa.). After having to sit out her entire year at IUP, Carpenter transferred to Slippery Rock and finally found the athletic success she had been looking for.
Following the 2015-16 season, Carpenter was named to the All-PSAC first-team roster and was again given the honor in this season’s preseason polls.
Carpenter is The Rock’s starting point guard and head coach Bobby McGraw runs the offense around her.
“We want to keep the ball in Lexi’s hands as much as possible. Teams are going to have a decision to make, they can either focus on stopping Lexi with the double team or triple team or they can let us re-break the record for most three-pointers made in a season,” McGraw said.
Carpenter is the only returning regular starter from last season’s team and with new players coming in and returning players getting expanding roles, she has seen herself become the leader on this team.
“Last year I came in and I had to establish myself and get the respect of my teammates before I could just go out there and control things the way I wanted to,” Carpenter said. “There’s only one thing on mind, that’s a conference title. I feel like last year was left unfinished.”
Last season, the women’s team narrowly missed out on making it into the conference playoffs, finishing with a 13-15 record.
McGraw has said that he thinks Carpenter is the “best pure point guard in the nation in Division II basketball,” and the numbers hold some truth to that.
Out of all Division II women’s basketball players, Carpenter ranked 52 in points per game and 59 in assists per game. In the PSAC, Carpenter was second in scoring and eighth in assists.
This year, Carpenter and McGraw both feel like the team has the potential to make a run at the PSAC Championship and neither of them want to waste this opportunity.
“From the staff, from our starters to every person in this locker room,” McGraw said. “We have the best point guard in the country, we expect to win the conference.”