The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team journeyed north to Erie on Wednesday for a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) brush with Gannon University. Despite a late comeback, The Rock was toppled, 75-69, momentarily setting them back in the standings as it strives for the third postseason appearance in head coach Bobby McGraw’s five-year tenure.
The Rock was quick out of the starting gate. A trio of triples, two of which were sunken by redshirt senior guard Ciara Patterson, were helpful in creating a nine-point Green and White advantage at the conclusion of the first period. Good ball distribution was evidenced by five other scorers, including Daeja Quick and LeeAnn Gibson.
The cushion didn’t last long. Senior forward Nicole LaCava kept her Golden Knights within distance, dropping eight points in the initial ten minutes. Chelsea Rourke was able to begin the second quarter by hitting on three successive baskets. With the turn of momentum, and a three-for-15 SRU effort from the field, Gannon owned a 36-29 lead by the half’s end.
Near the end of the the third quarter, SRU faced a 14-point deficit. A push by the quartet of Patterson, Gibson, Madison Johnson, and Brooke Hinderliter brought the score even with 1:36 left.
After Hinderliter’s tying jumper, Gannon missed on a three-pointer but secured the rebound, which led to Ivana Twumasi’s go-ahead layup. Two unsuccessful Rock possessions and a half-dozen Gannon foul shots later, the buzzer sounded.
Hinderliter, four days removed from becoming The Rock’s 13th 1,000-point scorer, led her team in scoring, posting 17 points. Following her were Patterson and Gibson, with 15 and 10, respectively. Senior forward Morgan Henderson, the league’s top rebounder, pulled down eight boards before fouling out.
The six-point loss dropped Slippery Rock’s record on the road to an unimposing 2-6. Luckily for the team, over half of its remaining contests will be at home, where it has been more comfortable at .500 (4-4).
McGraw’s squad will welcome the tenth-ranked Vulcans of California University (Pa.) on Saturday. The game will be the first of two against nationally-ranked opponents to open February. Tipoff for Saturday is scheduled for 1 p.m.