The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team hosted #13 Indiana (Pa.) University Wednesday evening at the Morrow Field House in Slippery Rock. The Rock was able to take a 16-12 lead against the nationally ranked Crimson Hawks into the second quarter but ultimately lost the game with a final score of 67-53. The loss marks SRU’s fourth in a row and drops the women to .500 (8-8) in conference play. The Green and White currently sit at sixth place (10-11) in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West division. IUP improved their record to 18-2 (13-2 in conference) and sit atop the PSAC West Division.
“If this were a one-quarter game, we would have won,” Rock head coach Bobby McGraw said. “But it isn’t, and we lost because we failed to execute offensively and defensively. We made it interesting in the final few minutes of the game, but it was far too late for us to really threaten IUP’s lead.”
McGraw said that prior to Wednesday’s contest, his team expected a challenge in IUP. The Crimson Hawks have one of the best women’s basketball programs in the country, he said. McGraw said he believes that, even against a nationally ranked team, his team had the potential to win Wednesday’s game.
“The score is the score, we had people that had the ability to score the basketball and they didn’t,” McGraw said. “I don’t know what it is, but we haven’t been scoring lately and we certainly haven’t been playing good defense of late.”
Sophomore Brooke Hinderliter led the way offensively for the Green and White, putting up 13 points (five for six from the free-throw line) and nine rebounds. She currently ranks 19th in the PSAC with 299 points on the season. Junior Morgan Henderson recorded 12 points, shooting two for four from the three-point line. Seniors
Sierra Fordham and Krista Pietropola combined for 20 points, 11 rebounds, and eight turnovers.
In the last four games, three of which have been against nationally ranked opponents, The Rock has scored 214 points and has allowed 272 points. The Rock currently averages 67.4 points per game, which is good for eighth in the conference.
Audrey Stapleton, a former star for the Green and White before transferring to IUP after the 2015-2016 season, led the way for the Crimson Hawks, scoring 16 points, shooting five for nine from the field.
With six games left in the season, half of which are at home, The Rock is hoping to finish strong to make a berth in the PSAC playoffs.
“We are going to come together and make the PSAC tournament,” said McGraw, confidently. “When, not if, we put a strong 40 minutes of basketball together, I would not want to play us in the postseason.”
The Rock will begin the first of those six games at home this Saturday against Seton Hill University (16-6/11-5). Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.