The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team opened up their season with two road games on Friday and Saturday in the PSAC-CAA challenge, concluding the weekend with a 1-1 record.
The Rock packed up their bags and traveled all the way to Elizabeth, North Carolina for a Friday afternoon matchup against John C. Smith University to kickoff their 2019 campaign. Over 500 miles away from Slippery Rock, The Green and White struggled to get any offense going early.
Despite Slippery Rock only trailing by a score of 8-5 halfway through the first quarter, the Golden Bulls were able to rattle off a 7-1 run, leading by a score of 15-6 after the conclusion of the first quarter.
The Rock’s offense improved in the second quarter, as The Green and White were able to score six consecutive points to pull within two of the Golden Bulls. However, their opponent’s offense caught fire in the second quarter as well, putting up 30 points on the way to opening up a 45-20 point lead.
Contrary to the first half, The Green and White battled hard in the second half, outscoring their opponent 32-31 in the final 30 minutes of play. Though, it was all too late, as The Rock would go on to drop their first game of the season by a score of 76-52.
Thankfully, The Rock had another shot to get a win under their belt as they were slated to play another game in Elizabeth, North Carolina on Saturday against Elizabeth City State.
After the ball tipped off at 8 p.m., it was evident that The Rock couldn’t get any offensive traction again in the first quarter. Despite only scoring three points after the first quarter of play, The Rock found themselves in a manageable deficit, thanks to a stout defensive effort.
In the second quarter, Slippery Rock’s offense exploded for 24 points while holding the Vikings to 14 points. At halftime, The Rock maintained a 28-25 lead, with senior guard Brooke Hinderliter and redshirt senior guard Madison Johnson contributing 17 of those points.
The two teams would pick up where they left off in the second half, as the two teams battled back and forth through much of the third quarter. The Vikings barely outscored The Rock 24-23 in the third quarter, cutting the Green and White’s lead down to 51-49 heading into the fourth quarter.
Fighting to preserve their first victory of the season, The Rock was able to stretch out their lead out to five early on in the fourth quarter. Soon thereafter, Slippery Rock would fall into foul trouble, allowing Elizabeth City State to grab a 72-70 with under two minutes left in regulation.
Losing Hinderliter, Johnson and starting guard Daeja Quick to fouling out, The Green and White had to turn toward redshirt junior guard, Kasch Harris. With the ball in her hands, she was able to prevail in arguably the game’s biggest moment.
Harris was able to find space in the corner of the court, before converting on a clutch three-point shot to put SRU ahead 73-72 with just 1:26 to play.
The Rock would be able to preserve the lead, thanks to three free throw shots made by freshman Anyah Curd. The Green and White would go on to clinch their first victory of the season in exhilarating fashion, defeating the Vikings by a score of 76-75.
The Rock defense was able to force 21 turnovers, which they turned into 12 points. SRU was able to edge Elizabeth City State in multiple other categories as well, including field goal percentage (43.9-41.5), 3-pointers made (7-4), and steals (5-4).
The Slippery Rock women’s basketball team will continue its four-game road trip as they travel to Bowie State University on Nov. 15 for a 5:30 p.m. game.