The Rocket’s January Athlete of the Month, senior point guard Lexi Carpenter, played in eight games and recorded 189 of her team’s 623 points (30 percent) in January. On the season, Carpenter is averaging 19.1 points per game and is currently third in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) in total points on the season with 382. She only trails Gannon’s Maggie Mitchell (405) and California’s (Pa.) Miki Glenn (425).
In a game on Jan. 28, Carpenter was removed from the game after playing only a minute against Seton Hill and has been unavailable for the past three games for head coach Bobby McGraw to use. During her injury, which she and McGraw say is a hip flexor injury, Slippery Rock is 0-4, which includes the game against Seton Hill. It is a day-by-day process and the best thing for it is rest, she said.
“I have goals set out, which I prefer to keep private, but I am working towards my goal, and I will be back as soon as possible,” Carpenter said.
Although Carpenter has only played a minute in the past four games combined, she still leads freshman Brooke Hinderliter, who is second on the team in scoring with 243 points, by 139 points.
From Jan. 11 to the 21, Carpenter averaged 33.25 points per game and shot for a total of 46-84 (55 percent) from the field.
Carpenter’s arguably best game of her career came during that four game span on January 21st, when she scored a career high 35 points and went 13-16 (81%) from the field as Slippery Rock pulled an upset against Edinboro University, winning 69-58. Coach McGraw has consistently called her a “Division I caliber player” and “one of the best Division II players in the country.” Carpenter stressed the importance of her teammates and that what she does off the court is just as important as what she does off the court.
“Obviously my teammates make my job way easier when we all stick to the game plan, execute and know our roles,” she said. “But it is really what you do off the court that shows the results that you have on the court. I spend a lot of time in the gym working on my game, working on my craft, and it has shown that I have been doing that.”
Currently, there is no timeline for Carpenter’s return. But, with a six-day break for The Rock from playing a game that began after Wednesday’s 67-48 loss to Mercyhurst University, Carpenter remains optimistic that she will return to join her teammates sometime during their final four games of the season. Her return could not come soon enough for Slippery Rock.
In the past four games since her injury began, the Green and White have been outscored 239-325 and currently sits in ninth place (9-15) in the PSAC West standings.
Carpenter said that her team needs to take the rest of the season day-by-day and game-by-game and that they are working towards making playoffs.
In order to make the playoffs, the women need to win their final four games of the season, she said.
“[Winning those games] is not impossible, we can do that,” Carpenter said. “We’ve got to continue to grow, not get to go to far ahead, and just take the next game as it comes.”