The Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team hosted Shippensburg University on Saturday afternoon in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) match up and ultimately beat the Raiders with a final score of 92-63. The win marks the first win for The Rock against the Raiders since the 2008-2009 season. Rock head coach Bobby McGraw said that his team “made a statement” with the win.
“Last year, Shippensburg really laid it on us and never ‘took their foot off the gas pedal’”, McGraw said. “Last year they beat us by 36 points in a game so today our team made a major statement.”
The Rock was led in part by sophomores Madison Johnson and Brooke Hinderliter. Johnson, who played for Saint Francis (Pa.) University last year, collected a game-high 27 points, shooting 11 for 14 from the field, nine rebounds, and forced three turnovers. Hinderliter recorded 19 points, shooting five for five from the free-throw line, nine rebounds, and six assists. The performances by Johnson and Hinderliter are no surprise, McGraw said.
“Madison and Brooke are both Division I athletes,” McGraw said. “They are two of the best guards in the entire league and they showed that today.”
Senior captain Ciara Patterson put up 15 points while shooting six for six from the free-throw line. Patterson, who ended the third quarter with a “buzzer-beating” three-point basket, played “tremendous” defense in the first half but lacked the offensive performance she is normally capable of, McGraw said. But, she picked it up in the second half and helped lead Slippery Rock to a “dominating” home victory, he said.
McGraw highlighted the performance by freshman Skyla O’Conner. O’Conner, who McGraw said, prior to the start of the season, was going to be an impact on the team this year, put up four points, recorded three rebounds, and forced a pair of steals.
“This is one of the best Division II women’s conferences in the entire nation and she has fit right in as a true freshman,” McGraw said.
The Rock will host PSAC rival Kutztown University on Sunday afternoon. McGraw said that although his team earned a solid win against Shippensburg if they don’t play better against Kutztown, they will lose the game.
“We played well today, putting up 92 points,” McGraw said. “But we missed a ton of shots today that if we miss against Kutztown, we will lose. Kutztown will come in tomorrow prepared and ready to play.”
Tipoff for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Morrow Field House in Slippery Rock.