Looking to channel the spirit of last season’s squad that upset nationally-ranked California (Pa.) at Morrow Field House, the Slippery Rock women’s basketball team returned home for the first time since Nov. 24.
However, the homecoming fell short this time around, with Slippery Rock losing to No. 15 California, 68-59, Monday afternoon, Jan. 6.
Despite holding California (11-2, 5-2 PSAC) to just 31% shooting from the field, Slippery Rock (3-10, 1-6 PSAC) was beaten at the free-throw line and from beyond the three-point line, where the Vulcans shot 50% and 74%, respectively.
Slippery Rock, in the midst of losing seven of the last eight games, shot 40% from the field but was unable to make up any ground from beyond the arc, shooting just 16%.
Combined with shooting just 53% from the free-throw line, making just eight of 15 attempts, Slippery Rock was able to stay within striking distance of California all afternoon.
California led for a majority of the game, but could never pull away from a scrappy Slippery Rock team.
Led by senior guard Brooke Hinderliter’s 17 points and nine rebounds, Slippery Rock was able to mount multiple comeback attempts in the fourth quarter. Three times in the final frame, SRU was able to cut the Vulcan’s lead to just six points.
Ultimately, efficiency in second-chance points and points off turnovers proved to be the deciding factors for California.
The Vulcans scored 17 points off 15 Slippery Rock turnovers and cashed in on 16 second-chance points compared to 10 points off turnovers and nine second-chance points for SRU.
After cutting California’s lead to just six points with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Vulcan’s Monica Burns scored six of its next eight points en route to a nine-point victory.
SRU: Hinderliter paced Slippery Rock in points (17) and rebounds (9) while bouncing back from a rare single-digit showing against Clarion in her last outing.
Junior guard Daeja Quick put together an all around strong outing, chipping in 10 points, seven rebounds and a team-leading six assists. Senior forward LeAnn Gibson and senior guard Madison Johnson each contributed nine points.
Cal-U: Burns led the way for California, scoring a game-high 25 points and going 12 of 13 from the free throw line. Bianca Jasper played the entire game for the Vulcans, putting in an eight point, 10 rebound, five assist performance.
SRU: With the loss, the eighth in the prior name games, Slippery Rock fell to 3-10 on the season and 1-6 in the conference. With the tough start in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play, SRU languishes in last place in the Western Division, tied with Clarion.
With no wins at Morrow Field House yet this season, SRU has its work cut in order to get back in the playoff race.
Cal-U: With the win, California improved to 11-2 on the season and 5-2 in the PSAC. Locked in a four way fight atop the PSAC-West, the Vulcans remain in a prime spot to clinch a berth in the PSAC Tournament.
Slippery Rock will continue its homestand with another nationally ranked matchup against Indiana (Pa.). Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Morrow Field House.