EAST STROUDSBURG — Behind a career-best 33 points from junior guard and former Redbank Valley standout Brooke Hinderliter, the Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team defeated East Stroudsburg University, 75-68, in a road Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference crossover game Monday night.
The PSAC-opening victory improves The Rock’s record to 3-4. SRU is now 14-5 against teams from the PSAC East over the last four years.
Hinderliter dominated Monday’s game, shooting an efficient 11-for-18 from the field and a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line to eclipse her previous career-high of 29 points; set a year ago against West Liberty University. In addition to her scoring effort, Hinderliter also added four rebounds, three assists and one steal over 34 minutes.
It has taken Hinderliter just 63 career games to score 826 points, which ranks 21st at Slippery Rock all-time. She is only two points away from passing Julie Molloy (2007-10) for 20th place in program history for points in a career.
So far this year, Hinderliter is averaging 19.4 points per game on 51 percent shooting from the field and 87.2 percent shooting (34-for-39) from the foul line. She’s also grabbing 6.3 rebounds per game.
Also Monday, the Rock guard duo of redshirt senior Ciara Patterson and sophomore Daeja Quick finished in double figures as well at 13 and 10 points, respectively, with Patterson making four steals and dishing out three assists.
Senior forward Morgan Henderson added six points and a team-high six rebounds. Junior forward and former Karns City standout LeeAnn Gibson, who was playing in her first game of the regular season after suffering a preseason injury, chipped in six points, grabbed three rebounds and tallied a pair of steals.
Redshirt junior guard Madison Johnson (four points) of Keystone, sophomore forward Brittany Andrews (two points) and redshirt sophomore guard Kasch Harris (one point) rounded out The Rock’s top scorers.
Slippery Rock scored seven straight points to start the game and appeared poised to run away with the victory early before East Stroudsburg caught fire from deep to make four 3-pointers over the opening 10 minutes and take a 20-19 lead into the second quarter.
However, The Rock’s defense came alive in the second quarter by forcing the Warriors into five turnovers and a 28.6 (4-for-14) field goal percentage all the while making 60 percent (6-of-10) of its own shot attempts en route to a 16-9 run that opened up a 35-29 lead for SRU heading into the break.
Slippery Rock and East Stroudsburg traded baskets for much of the third quarter with ESU gaining a slight advantage in play as the Warriors were able to trim four points off The Rock’s halftime lead to make it a 47-45 game going to the fourth quarter.
SRU controlled the opening stages of the fourth quarter, stretching its lead out to as many as 11 points at 62-51 with 5:57 remaining in regulation before East Stroudsburg battled back with a 16-8 run to cut The Rock’s deficit down to just three points with 1:53 to play.
However, Hinderliter and Patterson proceeded to ice the game in the contest’s final moments by going a combined 5-for-6 from the foul line to secure the seven-point victory.
Slippery Rock continues PSAC crossover competition when it hosts West Chester University 1 p.m. Saturday at Morrow Field House to start a five-game homestand that will span 26 days.
In other college basketball news involving area players:
At Waynesburg, the Yellowjackets men fell to Chatham last Saturday, 80-73. Matt Popeck scored 34 points for Waynesburg, but it wasn’t enough as the Yellowjackets fell to 2-5 going into Wednesday’s Presidents Athletic game at Westminster.
Redbank Valley’s Jake Dougherty and Sam Heeter both got in the game for Waynesburg. Dougherty scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds, making both 3-point shots in 15 minutes off the bench. Heeter scored three points on a 3-pointer in nine minutes.
Last Wednesday, Waynesburg beat Grove City, 81-71. Dougherty scored six points in 11 points and Heeter added three points in nine minutes.