The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team took on the West Chester University Golden Rams in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) crossover match-up on Saturday afternoon at home in Morrow Field House.
The game, which was The Rock’s home opener for the 2016-2017 season, was decided in the final minutes of play with West Chester ultimately coming out victorious with a final score of 85-78. Although Slippery Rock had a 61-57 lead going into the fourth quarter, the Golden Rams were able to put up 28 points in the final quarter of play to hand the team their fifth straight loss. This is the third straight game where Slippery Rock would lose after having a lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
Slippery Rock head coach Bobby McGraw again pointed to his team’s defense as the reason why they were unable to come out with the win.
“We had an eight-point lead with 5:56 left to go in the game,” McGraw said. “I do not have anybody who can guard on the floor right now. Whether we are playing zone or man, nobody wants to guard right now.”
Offensively, the Green and White were led by senior guard Lexi Carpenter. Carpenter totaled 17 points, four assists and two steals. Rock juniors Mallory Heinle and Krista Pietropola each had what Coach McGraw called the “only positives of the game” by collecting 15 and 14 points, respectively. McGraw said that Heinle played a fantastic offensive game while Pietropola, who is known to be very capable of shooting the ball, did exactly that throughout the duration of the game. Heinle made six of nine shots from the floor, while Pietropola hit four out of five attempted three-pointers.
Junior C.C. Dixon registered 10 points off the bench, shooting six for six from the free throw line, and also having a pair of assists and steals. Freshmen Brooke Hinderliter and LeeAnn Gibson started in their third game together, combining for seven points while Hinderliter committed four turnovers and had an assist.
McGraw stressed the need for his team to play better defense the rest of the season, especially at home.
“We lost the game giving up 85 points,” McGraw said. “It would be nice to be back playing at home, but we lost and we will continue to lose games if we do not commit to playing better defense. It is plain and simple. If we cannot beat Cheyney tomorrow, it is going to be a long season.”
The Rock will look to climb back up to .500 in the PSAC when they take on the Cheyney University Wolves on Sunday in game two of their three-game home stand. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.