The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball (5-2) continued a four-game winning streak Wednesday night when it upset the reigning Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champion, the Edinboro Fighting Scots (3-3), 66-57.
The Green and White, who’s four-game winning streak is the longest since 2007-2008, were able to snap a nine-game losing streak to Edinboro.
“This win feels good, because there are 15 girls in that locker room who are believing in what me and my coaching staff are telling them,” Rock head coach Bobby McGraw said. “They believe that they have the right pieces to compete in this conference and we definitely saw it last night.”
After trailing by six points with five minutes remaining in the first half, senior forward D’asia Chambers led the Rock to a 17-2 scoring run to close out the half with SRU leading 30-21. The Fighting Scots were able to narrow the gap to a one-point deficit twice during the second half, but the Rock women were eventually able to pull away to secure the victory.
“The biggest bucket for me last night had to have been Mallory Heinle’s three pointer to start that run,” McGraw said. “We were down 19-13 and she hit that three and kickstarted the run. When you go on a run like that, you have to step up on defense, and we definitely held our own.”
SRU, who held the advantage in most statistical categories, was able to put up a 44.4 shooting percentage while holding Edinboro to just 31.8 percent from the field. SRU also out-shot the Scots from beyond the three-point arc 33.3 percent to 17.4 percent, and also in free throw percentage at 70.6 to 64.7.
The Rock also held the advantage in rebounds, grabbing 43 boards compared the Edinboro’s 33.
McGraw has begun to see big improvement with his team’s defensive effort, and was thrilled that it was put on display Wednesday night against a team like Edinboro.
“Going in to the game last night, we were in the top-25 in the country in points allowed per game and field goal percentage allowed,” McGraw said. “Despite that, we were able to hold a team that is built for a national championship run to low percentages in shooting and three-point percentage, and it’s very noticeable to see their improvement.”
Chambers led SRU in points with 27, shooting 57 percent from the field (8-14). Junior guards Erica Aiello and Taylor Siggers were each able to add 12 points, and senior forward Danielle Garroutte and freshman guard Shannon Jack were each able to contribute six points. Heinle also added three points.
The team will now take a week long recess for finals week before returning back to Morrow Field House for a home matchup against Millersville University (4-3).
“We have this long time off and it is important for us to prepare ourselves for Millersville mentally,” McGraw said. “We are entering the break with some light practices, especially with finals coming up next week, but about midway through the next week we will be hitting the practice courts hard and really pushing the girls to be ready to play Millersville on December 16.”
Tipoff against Millersville will be set for 5:30 p.m on Dec. 16 at Morrow Field House.