Having not defeated the Crimson Hawks in over 12 calendar years, the Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team arrived on the campus of archenemy No. 4 Indiana (Pa.) with a sense of confidence. The Wednesday evening meeting was this season’s second between the two squads, as IUP had invaded Morrow Field House in mid-January, resulting in a 36-point triumph.
Fresh off its first victory over then- No. 10 California (Pa.) since 2002, the Green and White aimed to knock off it second nationally-ranked, in-conference foe in a four-day span. It was not to be, however, as the Rock was overpowered, 88-51, thanks in large part to a lackluster shooting night. Almost from the very beginning, the game was in IUP’s favor. The Crimson Hawks dumped in the first 11 points of the meeting, cutting a slope that Slippery Rock would be doomed never to climb. Entering the game ranked third in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) in turnovers per game at 14, SRU gifted eight giveaways in the first quarter alone.
As Slippery Rock was only able to lay in two buckets and a handful of free throws in the second period, the hosts raced to a 31-point advantage before carrying a 51-21 lead into halftime.
Evidently, the first half was nothing short of frustration for SRU, which went a meager six-for-37 from the field. Combined, the Rock’s top three overall scoring leaders, Brooke Hinderliter, Ciara Patterson and Daeja Quick, went a combined three-of-18 in the initial 20 minutes against the opposition’s 20 of 29 shots.
A 27-point deficit would be as close as Rock head coach Bobby McGraw’s team would get in the second half.
Freshman guard Olivia Fusaro played a season-high 18 minutes, connecting on five-of-11 from the floor and scoring a team-leading 15 points. Hinderliter and junior forward LeeAnn Gibson followed with seven points each, and Patterson and Quick contributed with six and three points, respectively.
Overall, the Crimson Hawks’ starting five outscored Slippery Rock’s entire team by 11 points. The lone bright team statistic for Slippery Rock was the season-high-matching 20 offensive rebounds.
Still fighting for a PSAC tournament bid, The Rock will head to Seton Hill University on Saturday for a chance to avenge a 73-65 home defeat at the hands of the Griffins earlier this year. The opening tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.