After a week-long layover, Brooke Hinderliter didn’t even have to wait until after the jump ball to get started. She stepped to the stripe, took her dribbles, and sunk one of two free throws even before the clock started.
Turns out, the junior guard’s basket, thanks to a pre-game technical on the visitors, was one of only three early leads the Rock would hold in hosting Bowie State on Sunday afternoon.
For the most part, the Bulldogs methodically built a commanding lead once the clock did get running. It was forward Kyaja Williams who took charge for the visitors, dropping 11 of her team’s 20 first-quarter points. Also, Williams pulled down three offensive boards that led to points for her team. Meanwhile, the ball was distributed on The Rock’s side, six buckets were made, all by different scorers.
Halfway through the second quarter, Bowie State pushed its lead to 18 while Slippery Rock dealt with misses (8-of-26 in the first half). The Rock went into the intermission down 38-22, as the Bulldogs connected on over half their shots and made use of a few Rock turnovers.
In the third period, the Green and White outscored the opposition and gradually began climbing out of the hole it put itself in the opening half. After Bowie State made it a 19-point game, a 10-2 Rock run gave the team momentum. That was quickly stolen due to a technical foul and Williams converting the two subsequent free throws.
Although the fourth quarter saw a four-minute span between made baskets for both teams, The Rock was able to come within nine with 3:12 left thanks to a hot streak from senior forward Morgan Henderson. However, BSU’s Williams and Dynaisha Christian refused to let their hosts come any closer, helping close out the final minutes on a 12-3 run.
With 14 points, Hinderliter paced the team in scoring for the third time in as many games. Behind her, with a dozen points was Henderson, who also led the team with eight rebounds. Three other starters—Ciara Patterson, Kaschae Harris, and Madison Johnson—poured in at least five points.
“Overall, and I don’t mean every single play, we got out-efforted at the end of the day […] We knew Bowie State was going to play hard for 40 minutes, go get it off the glass, not hang their heads when they missed a shot, go rebound the ball offensively. And they did that,” said fifth-year Rock head coach Bobby McGraw. “We didn’t do a good job of stopping them today.”
Having stumbled in two of their first three contests, the women will begin a four-game road swing on Wednesday. Next up, will be Walsh (Nov. 21) before the team heads to the Ashland Thanksgiving Classic. There, they will clash with Wayne State (Nov. 24) before playing against the Eagles, ranked second nationally.
Said McGraw, “We’ll get back to work tomorrow and Tuesday, strictly focused on Walsh. They run a complex offensive system, so the next two days we’ll work on how to stop Walsh, because they can score the basketball.”