Women’s basketball explodes for 108 points in win over Salem

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The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team defeated Salem University 108-105 on the road Wednesday night, recording the third-highest offensive performance in program history.

The win improves The Rock’s record to 2-2 overall, having yet to play in a conference game. The loss drops Salem to 1-3 on the season.

Wednesday’s game served as the 10th time in program history that the women’s basketball team eclipsed the 100-point mark, the first since a 101-72 victory over Lock Haven on Feb. 18, 2009.

After dropping the previous game to Bowie State in a 58-50 defensive battle, The Green and White put their high-scoring capabilities on display against Salem University, shooting an efficient 30-for-64 (.469) from the field.

The 108-point performance was also fueled by The Rock going 44-52 (84.6 percent) from the foul line, shattering the program’s single-game record.

The Rock lit up the score sheet in the first quarter, with seven players contributing to a 35-22 lead over Salem after 10 minutes of play. However, Salem bounced back in the second quarter, outscoring The Rock 31-17 to take a 53-52-point heading into halftime.

In the first half alone, The Rock had already made 21 free throws, easily exceeding the previous game’s total of 15.

Redshirt Senior Madison Johnson was virtually unstoppable in the first half, as she shot six for eight from the field, six for eight from the foul line and sank a three point shot a little more than halfway through the second quarter.

The second half would be nearly as contested as the first half, as both teams searched to for an edge to gain over the other.

After being down by four points early in the third quarter, the Green and White were able to regain some momentum, as they erased the marginal Salem lead.

At the 6:54 mark in the third quarter, senior LeeAnn Gibson knocked down a jumper to give The Rock its first lead of the second half, a lead that would not be surrendered for nearly 16 minutes of regulation time.

With one minute to go in the fourth quarter, Salem’s Nia Bishop hit a 3-point shot, giving the Tigers a 103-102 lead. It was then that the small crowd at T. Edwards Gymnasium witnessed the ‘never give up’ mindset that head coach Bobby McGraw and his team possess.

Using her skills in the post to her advantage, senior Karington Ketterer backed up the Salem defender to the hoop, before drawing a foul that would send her to the free throw line.

The senior forward remained unphased by the high-pressure moment, sinking both free throws to give Slippery Rock a 104-103 lead with 34 seconds to play.

The Rock defense stood tall in the next possession and stopped the Tigers from reclaiming the lead. Junior guard Daeja Quick was then fouled and awarded free throw shots, with an opportunity to extend Slippery Rock’s lead to as much as three.

Just as Ketterer did, Quick remained composed at the foul line, converting on both free throw attempts to extend The Rock’s lead to 106-103.

Productive from start to finish, Johnson was able to close the door on Salem’s hope of a last-minute comeback, blocking a three-point attempt and then scoring on a fast break layup to extend The Rock’s lead to 108-103 with just under 3 seconds to play.

The Tigers managed to score on a quick layup before time expired, but it was ultimately in vain as The Rock preserved a 108-105 victory.

Johnson was a force on the floor, as she recorded 28 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and one block. The senior guard’s 28-points was a career high to go along with her third double-double in her career at The Rock.

Senior guard Brooke Hinderliter made her presence known in the most pivotal moments of the game, scoring 11 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter. The star guard was able to grab four rebounds as well.

LeeAnn Gibson scored a career-high 14 points and totaled seven rebounds on the night. Other Rock players that scored in the double-digits include Quick and sophomore guard Olivia Fusaro, who scored 13 points each, as well as Ketterer who contributed 10 points in the victory.

Freshman forward Anyah Curd provided valuable minutes off the bench, as she recorded six points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes.

The Rock will look to exceed the .500 mark on Saturday and Sunday, as they return home to play at Morrow Field House for a pair of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference crossover games. The Rock will square off against Shippensburg University Saturday at 1 p.m. before finishing off the weekend in a 1 p.m. Sunday showdown against Lock Haven University.

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