The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team finished their three-game home stand with a 74-43 victory over Millersville University, Saturday afternoon.
The Rock, now 5-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play, put up 41 points and held Millersville to 18 points in the second half of the game. Rock head coach Bobby McGraw said that his team’s defense was the main reason why they were able to come out with the win. The Rock’s defense helped force four shot clock violations which McGraw said helped his team tremendously.
“With those shot clock violations, you had a team running offense for 30 seconds, forced to play defense, and they just could not do it,” McGraw explained. “Our defense got us the points.”
Junior guard Krista Pietropola led the way for the Green and White offensively by recording a season-high 20 points (12 being from three-point shots). Pietropola, who McGraw always praises as being a perimeter shooting threat, said although she did not start off shooting the ball well at the beginning of the game, that she is always given the green light to “let it fly.”
“Even if I am missing a couple of shots he (McGraw) always tells me to keep shooting,” Pietropola said. “I also always have Lexi (Carpenter) in my ear boosting my confidence. I kept ‘letting it fly’ and eventually, they fell.”
McGraw said that the performance put on by Pietropola on Saturday is exactly why he brought her to Slippery Rock. Pietropola is twelfth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) in three-point field goals per game and is averaging 1.9 three point shots per game. Pietropola leads The Rock with 19 three-pointers on the year.
Senior guard Lexi Carpenter recorded 16 points (going five for six from the free throw line), four turnovers and two assists. Carpenter now boasts a .851 (40/47) shooting percentage from the free throw line, which is good for fifth place in the PSAC. Senior Cassidy Wright, junior Mallory Heinle, and freshman Brooke Hinderliter combined for 19 points and two assists. Junior C.C. Dixon put up 13 points and 3 assists, while also going 1-1 at the free throw line. Dixon has been giving her team tremendous minutes on both sides of the floor, McGraw said.
“Offensively and defensively when she starts rolling, you are going to have matchup nightmares because teams will not be able to just double team Lexi anymore,” McGraw said. “We ran some matchups today with C.C. playing point guard where she just ended up scoring or getting fouled, so yes, C.C. is coming alive.”
Pietropola said that she thinks that if her team keeps playing together as one team and continues to communicate with each other, then that will ultimately lead them to victory. Coach McGraw said that although his team played tremendous defense on Saturday, they still have a lot of work to do.
“We played three tremendous quarters against Malone, and then gave up 23 points and lost,” he said. “Just seven days ago we gave up 85 points to West Chester. We will work on defense all this upcoming week before we go down to West Liberty where they are an offensive-minded team.”
The women will have almost a full week off before they travel to West Virginia on Friday to take on West Liberty University in a nonconference matchup. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.