It’s a challenge going up against one of the best teams in the conference, it’s even more challenging when you don’t have your star point guard. That was what The Rock faced when they matched up with California University of Pennsylvania (Cal-U).
“You’re not beating Cal-U with the number one defense in the [Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference] (PSAC) without your starting point guard, [Daeja Quick], it’s just not happening,” Coach Robert McGraw said. “That’s a big reason they scored 40 points off of turnovers.”
The game served as the first game in which spectators were prohibited from home games at Morrow Field House and the Vulcans took advantage of that with their men’s basketball team in the away stands making noise.
“Our university put us at a disadvantage because the Cal-U men’s basketball team was sitting in our own building harassing our players and doing it well,” McGraw said. “It’s not like they were doing anything inappropriate, but they were loud and I’m sure it effected our players, because we were at a disadvantage at home, which is no fun.”
The Rock took an early lead but, with what felt like a home advantage for Cal-U, the Vulcans were able to storm back to take the lead 19-17 as the first quarter expired.
“We got out to a lead on Cal-U, but when your bench is short and you’re missing the player who is leading the country in minutes played per game, you’re in trouble,” McGraw said.
The first half was taken over by Cal-U after that buzzer beater by Shauna Harrison. Furthermore, it really hit home on the defensive end in the second quarter.
The Vulcans held The Rock to just six points in the quarter and without Quick, the team lacked the experience needed to combat one of the teams with the most veterans in the PSAC.
Going into half, The Rock was down 30-23, but the second half didn’t pan out as they expected either. In the final two periods, the Vulcans shot 42% and 35%. The big story was turnovers for The Rock. The turnovers gifted Cal-U 40 of their 66 points, making it too much for The Rock to overcome.
The Rock is hopeful that they can get back Quick for their next game, and McGraw is hopeful that fans will be back to home games soon. The Rock returns to action on Monday in Erie when they face off with Gannon University.