Rock women’s basketball drop second straight contest

Published by , Author: Karl Ludwig - Assistant Sports Editor, Date: January 28, 2019
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Redshirt junior guard Madison Johnson drives to the basket against Pitt-Johnstown in The Rock's 79-75 loss. Johnson chipped in 15 points.

The afternoon of junior guard Brooke Hinderliter’s 1,000th career point at Slippery Rock University was spoiled by an 85-64 loss on the road against Edinboro University (12-5) Saturday afternoon. A nine-point deficit late in the third quarter turned into a 23-point difference late in the fourth quarter from which Rock women’s basketball (8-10) was unable to overcome.

Entering the contest with the Fighting Scots only five points away from 1,000, Hinderliter nailed a three-pointer early in the contest and only had to wait until the end of the first quarter to reach an even one thousand points in her career after scoring on a fast break layup.

Ultimately, however, Hinderliter’s milestone achievement proved to be the only highlight of the afternoon for the Green and White.

After the Scots took an early 3-0 lead—and never relinquished the lead—The Rock suffered through another afternoon of poor shooting that never allowed Slippery Rock coach Bobby McGraw’s squad to truly climb back into the game.

Connecting on just 32.9 percent of field goal attempts and 24 percent of attempts from three-point range, the Green and White were unable to establish any secondary scoring behind Hinderliter’s 21 points and senior guard Ciara Patterson’s 17 points. No other starter scored more than six points and junior forward LeeAnn Gibson’s eight points off the bench ranked third on the team.

The Rock’s offense—which has floundered near the bottom of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference ranks in field goal and three-point shooting efficiency and assists per game all season—never seemed to find a rhythm. Only five assisted field goals stifled on and off-ball movement and being outrebounded by 21 enabled the Scots to extend their possessions and limit the Green and White’s second chance points.

On the other side of the ball, the defense continued to be the Achilles heel this season and, by allowing 85 points to the Scots, the conference-worst scoring defense inflated to 74.6 points allowed per game.

Dropping a second consecutive contest, The Rock’s stretch of odd PSAC results has continued. After winning four straight games to begin conference play, the Green and White lost four in a row. Two straight victories followed the losing streak, but the Green and White now hold a two-game losing streak.

At 8-10 overall and 6-6 in conference play, The Rock sits at sixth in the PSAC West and on the outside looking in for Tournament seeding. Following an away contest with Gannon University, the Green and White will face No. 13 California University (Pa.) and No. 1 Indiana University (Pa.) in the span of five days.

A stretch of three wins in a row could allow The Rock to emerge as a dark horse PSAC championship contender while three straight losses could completely erase their Tournament hopes.

A trip to the Hammermill Center in Erie, Pa. awaits The Rock Wednesday evening. A battle of the No. 6 vs. No. 7 team in the PSAC West will provide the Green and White with one last chance to get in tune before the daunting two-game stretch with the best the PSAC has to offer.

Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. against Gannon on Jan. 3o.

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Karl is a senior sport management major and communication minor entering his fifth semester on The Rocket staff. He will serve as the sports editor after previously serving as the assistant sports editor. During his time with The Rocket, he has covered every sport that SRU has to offer, and with the lack of sports this coming semester, he is looking forward to finding alternative ways to deliver sports news to the SRU community. After graduation, he hopes to work in the sports writing field.

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