Defense falters in fourth quarter as Rock loses out-of-conference game to Malone

Published by , Author: Oscar Matous - Rocket Contributor, Date: December 1, 2016
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The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team took on Malone University this past Wednesday in a non-conference matchup. The Rock, leading at halftime 37-32, ultimately fell to the Pioneers with a narrow final score of 71-69.

Rock head coach Bobby McGraw said that he blames his team’s defense for the loss on Wednesday.

“We gave up 23 points in the fourth quarter,” McGraw said. “We were able to guard them for the first three quarters, but unfortunately, this is a four-quarter game, and we did not guard in the final 10 minutes.”

Offensively, Slippery Rock was led by junior transfer C.C. Dixon. Dixon, in her first season with The Rock since transferring from California (Pa.), recorded 14 points, six of which were from the field, two turnovers and one assist. Sophomore Morgan Henderson scored eight points and also recorded three turnovers and an assist. Senior Lexi Carpenter recorded 12 points—going two for seven from the field (.286)—seven assists, and five turnovers, much to the disappointment of Coach McGraw.

“I tell Lexi all the time that every time she performs at a level at which I believe is low for her, we lose,” McGraw said.

Senior Cassidy Wright and juniors Sierra Fordham and Krista Pietropola proved to be productive off the bench for The Rock, combining for 19 points, three assists and four steals. Freshman Brooke Hinderliter tallied seven points, two turnovers and a block.

Coach McGraw said that Hinderliter, who has 60 points in her freshman season so far, is where he wants her to be at this point.

He said that she is a Division I caliber player who has had a strong start to her offensive career.

“Brooke has made some freshmen mistakes defensively, which is typical for a freshman, it is what I expect,” McGraw said. “These types of mistakes are not expected from a junior or senior. She is a freshman. You expect her to make some mistakes.”

Going forth, the Green and White start a three-game home-stand beginning this Saturday, Dec. 3 against the West Chester University Golden Rams. Coach McGraw said that his team needs to guard for the full 40 minutes if they expect to win these upcoming games. He said that his team cannot expect to guard for only 30 minutes and expect to win.

“West Chester is a team that will come in and beat us by 20 if we take half a quarter off, let alone a full quarter,” McGraw said. “They will be looking for revenge from last year when we beat them on their home court. We will not win another game the rest of the season if we do not play better defense.”

Slippery Rock will look to move their overall record back to .500 and 2-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) against West Chester on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.

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