It had been sixteen years since Slippery Rock women’s basketball was able to defeat Indiana University. On Wednesday, January 25, The Rock was able to end that streak.
SRU sprinted out of the gate hot, compiling 18 points which would end up being their highest total of the night for either team. It was also their most efficient quarter of the game, shooting 50% from the field which was also the highest of either team for the night.
The second quarter was marred by shooting inefficiency, but just as the White and Green seemed to do for all 60 minutes, they stepped up another part of their game to make up for it. They held IUP to 10 points for the quarter, a feat which they would accomplish twice in this game. Additionally, The Rock sank 6 of 6 free throws which was good for both the best efficiency and free throw point total of the night for either team.
Being adaptive is a skill important for every sport. This is compounded in basketball with the high amount of scoring, as a lack of adjustment can quickly set any team behind.
SRU showed off their adaptability in the second quarter. Head coach Chenara Wilson shared her thoughts on her squad’s ability to pick up the slack whenever anything started to go awry.
“We all came together and did what we had to do,” Coach Wilson said.
The third quarter slipped away from SRU somewhat. IUP outscored them 15-13, lowering their lead to 41-38.
The theme of a one possession game hung around for much of the fourth quarter as well. There were multiple possessions within the final five minutes where the could’ve been decided by a three-point dagger from either side.
Coach Chenara Wilson said that she instructed her team to limit three-point attempts from IUP as to not let one possession take the game away from them. This plan was successful as IUP was 0-3 on three-point attempts inside of five minutes remaining.
Coach Wilson also instilled confidence in her team’s ability to score, pointing out that in the close game, “We knew we were going to have another possession.” That possession ended up being a made layup by Senior Guard Deleah Gibson which gave The Rock a 49-48 lead with 48 seconds remaining.
“We came with a gameplan and that’s what we executed today. I’m proud of them and proud of them doing their job today,” Coach Wilson said.
Sophomore Guard Isabellah Middleton and Gibson lead the offense in scoring with 19 and 16 points respectively. Gibson also had a teaming leading four steals while Middleton had a team leading nine rebounds.
This win sets up The Rock for a playoff push as they delve further into the second half of their season. They currently sit one game behind Seton Hill for control of the sixth and final playoff spot.
“Beating IUP is a big deal,” Coach Wilson said. “If we can just continue to get everyone to buy in, I think we’ll be alright.”
SRU’s next game is against last place Clarion this Saturday, January 28th. This is definitely a game they can take advantage of, but Coach Wilson reminded her players not to get ahead of themselves.
“I just told them we play Clarion and no matter their record we still got to play them. It’s another game. We can’t take anyone for granted,” Coach Wilson said. “I told them celebrate this one today, let it go tomorrow, new game on Saturday. We’ve got to get a win on Saturday. We have to.” Coach Wilson said.