Rock women prepare for battle at IUP

Published by Tyler Howe, Date: February 22, 2023
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Just a few weeks ago, The Rock Women’s Basketball Team broke a streak of 16 straight years of losses to the Indiana (Pa.) Crimson Hawks. The reaction was like no other. On one side the gratification was through the roof, and on the other side the disappointment was unbearable.

After the clock hit zero, The Rock women rushed to celebrate the win over IUP. It was always a goal of the late Bobby McGraw to finally take them down.

Now, they stand with an opportunity to sweep the Crimson Hawks. More importantly, in order to still have a good shot at making playoffs, they need to beat them.

“I’m an open book with them, I told them before practice that you have a team that you beat that we hadn’t in 16 years,” head coach Chenara Wilson said. “They’re going to want revenge, so we have to go out with the mentality of being the underdogs again.”

They will look to rely on Deleah Gibson and Isabellah Middleton, who last week swept the PSAC weekly awards.

In their last meeting against IUP, Middleton and Gibson were the top two scorers with 19 and 16 points respectively. Every point was a crucial one. The Rock ended that game on a 7-0 run in the final two and a half minutes of play.

Since the two last met, IUP has won five of their last seven while The Rock has gone .500 in six games. Both are still looking to punch a ticket to the playoffs, but the Crimson Hawks were able to use the loss against Slippery Rock to a light a fire a crucial time.

Now if Slippery Rock wants a chance at finally getting back to the PSAC tournament, they will likely have to win out. A task that will not be easy to do, but it will have to start on the road in Indiana. A place they have not won a game at in nearly 20 years.

“We’re taking it one game at a time, because this is a team we want to beat, but we know what’s at stake,” Wilson said. “We don’t look at it as ‘oh it’s IUP we want to beat them again,’ we know that all three of these final games are crucial.”

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