Slippery Rock trailed the Golden Eagles of Clarion University by 17 points at halftime, a deficit that proved too great in the end as the Rock fell 89-73 on Wednesday night.
Slippery Rock has trailed at the half in 14 of 19 games this season.
“We have worked on different things during practice to get us off to a better start,” SRU head coach Tanya Longo said. “Teams generally play how they practice. We need to start practicing with a higher focus and level of play, start to finish.”
With the win, the Golden Eagles improved to 8-11 overall and 2-7 in PSAC-West play. Slippery Rock now holds a record of 4-15 overall and 1-8 in the PSAC-West.
Clarion defeated the Rock 95-80 on November 11th at the Morrow Field House, and with the win Wednesday night they complete the regular season sweep against SRU.
“They have been playing great basketball in the last four or five games,” Clarion head coach Gle Parsons said. “We were never going to take them lightly. We really respect them and we knew it was going to be a tough game.”
Slippery Rock held the game within six points until there was 10:39 remaining in the first half and then Clarion began to pull away. Clarion’s lead went as high as 23 points but was reduced to 17 at the end of the first half of play.
The Golden Eagles held a convincing lead over the Rock throughout the second half, at one point rising as high as 24 points. With 1:28 left in regulation SRU managed to reduce that lead down to 10 points.
However, the early deficit and missed shots down the final stretch led the Clarion Eagles to their victory over SRU.
Clarion snapped a four game losing streak with the win.
“We were in a bit of a slump,” Parsons said. “It helped that we already beat Slippery Rock. We came out with a lot more confidence.”
The Rock shot 38.9 percent Wednesday night, making 28 shots out of a season-high 72 attempts. SRU attempted 25 shots shots from behind the arc with eight counting for points.
Clarion shot 46.2 percent(30-65) from the field and made 67.7 percent (21 -31) of their free throw shots. Clarion has attempted at least 31 free throws in both games against SRU this season.
Junior D’Asia Chambers led slippery Rock in points with 19 and six rebounds. Chambers has scored 19 or more in seven games this season.
“It’s frustrating because I don’t go out there to play for stats,” Chambers said. “It’s pointless to get double-doubles and score big points if we aren’t winning. I would rather score two points or sit on the bench and be winning.“
Senior Jazmyne Frost had her fifth double-double game of the season with 16 points and a career high 16 rebounds.
“Chambers is playing at a great level and Jazmyne, with her double-double, is really incredible,” Parsons said.
Sophomore Megan Hardimann added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Rock, her first double-double at SRU, as well as a career high in rebounds.
Clarion was led on the court by freshman Kelly Johnson with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Hannah Heeter contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds for her team leading eighth double-double of the season. Senior Emma Fickel added 18 points for the Golden Eagles.
SRU welcomes the Vulcans of California University (11-7, 5-4 PSAC-West) to the Morrow Field House on Saturday with tip off at 1pm. SRU fell to Cal-U 79-52 during their last meeting November 23rd.