Going into the game, expectations were not very high for the Slippery Rock women’s basketball team as they were coming off a 29 point loss against Edinboro. The Rock came out and performed well, though, just fell short of an upset win against Gannon. The Golden Knights headed into the game with only four losses and as one of the best teams in the PSAC.
The story of the first half was Brooke Hinderliter, who shot 7-12 from the field and ended the first half with 16 points. Against Edinboro, Hinderliter was only able to contribute five points. Hinderliter, who isn’t far from the scoring record, needs to score a little over 20 points a game to get it.
“Brooke is the horse and usually she’s option 1 and 1A, and we go as Brooke Hinderliter goes. I bet if you look at it she averages 25 points in our wins and a lot less in our losses,” Coach McGraw said.
Although Hinderliter was able to score 16 points, the rest of the team only scored 18 points combined in the first half. The Rock would only hold the lead once when the game was 3-0 about a minute or so in. The Rock was able to fight back behind Hinderliter’s impressive first half, but wasn’t able to get many contributions other than Hinderliter.
“We didn’t guard that well in the second half, we had a couple defensive breakdowns late in the game where 20 walked down the lane and we had players staring and giving no help,” McGraw said. Emily Poling finished with 7 points for Gannon and those two points in the second half turned out to be big as the Golden Knights edged The Rock by only three.
In the second half however, Hinderliter seemed to do a complete 180 and went 0-7 from the field and her three points came off of free throws. Daeja Quick was able to score 11 points in the second half including two three pointers down the stretch. And even though Hinderliter wasn’t able to produce in the second half, The Rock still had a shot to tie the game at the end.
The Rock had two chances to tie it and the first didn’t go as planned, even though it was thought out, and the second wasn’t as planned out, but ultimately turned out to give The Rock the best shot at tying the game.
“Off of that timeout we tried to run a set specifically for Brooke Hinderliter, we wanted to try to get the ball into the post to have the Gannon defense collapse and kick the ball right back out to Brooke for bucket, the execution was there we just fell a little bit short,” McGraw said.
Then with only a few seconds left, The Rock decided to throw a hail mary pass that Hinderliter was able to catch over the shoulder and got a good shot off, but the defense was played perfectly.
“I thought [that there was contact] in real time on the last shot, when I asked her Brooke said no she made a great block and I literally went to the officials locker room and apologized,” Coach McGraw said. “That was a heck of a catch, that was not our normal press breaker, that’s usually run by our center to draw the defenders down there but with four seconds we had her run it. If we would’ve got that down that would’ve been the best execution in my time as head coach here.”
The Rock will look to get back to the win column on Saturday against Cal U, who they lost to by nine points in the first matchup. That game will also start the second set of PSAC west games for The Rock. Through the first set The Rock has put up a 5-15 record, but looks to get the season back on track.