The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team hosted the no. five ranked California (Pa.) University Vulcans on Wednesday in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) match-up at Morrow Field House in Slippery Rock. The Rock, unable to overcome last year’s league champions, ultimately fell to the Vulcans with a final score of 79-55.
“We played hard for 40 minutes and nobody ever quit,” Slippery Rock head coach Bobby McGraw said. “Cal (California) is number five in the nation for a reason, so I was very pleased with the effort, especially without our best player not currently playing.”
Senior Lexi Carpenter was unavailable during the game after she played for about a minute in Saturday’s 74-63 loss against Seton Hill. There is currently no update on Carpenter, who is out with a flexor muscle strain, and is listed as day-to-day, McGraw said.
Without Carpenter, the Green and White shot for a total of 20-57 (35 percent) from the field with four three-pointers.
Junior C.C. Dixon, who transferred from California this year, led the way offensively for The Rock by recording 11 points (5-11 from the field). Freshman LeeAnn Gibson and junior Mallory Heinle each recorded nine points while Heinle also had three assists. Senior Cassidy Wright and junior Sierra Fordham combined for 14 points and four assists.
Coach McGraw praised the production he has been getting from Dixon and Heinle. Dixon has been putting up great offensive numbers while Heinle’s defensive performance of late has been tremendous, he said. McGraw also said that sophomore Morgan Henderson has recently been sick so that is why she has not been putting up the numbers he is used to seeing from her.
Freshman Brooke Hinderliter, who has taken over as starting point guard in the wake of Carpenter’s injury, put up seven points and also recorded a team-high 10 rebounds, six of which came while on offense.
“She (Brooke) is only a freshman and she is now playing a position that she has primarily not played at in about a year, so this is a learning process for her,” McGraw said. “A freshman getting 10 rebounds off the number five team in the country is just absolutely ridiculous but I expect that from her.”
Hinderliter expressed how hard it is to replace a teammate like Carpenter and that, as a team, they are going to do their best to step up until she returns.
“We had some dumb turnovers today,” Hinderliter said. “We just need to clean it up a little bit and we will be alright.”
With the loss, The Rock is now 9-13 (6-10 in conference play) while California is now 21-1 (15-1) and continues to dominate in the PSAC.
Slippery Rock, who has lost four out of their past five match-ups, will look to snap their three-game losing streak when they travel to PSAC rival Indiana (PA) to take on the Crimson Hawks of Indiana (Pa.) in what will most likely be a very highly contested battle.