LHU women drop home opener

LOCK HAVEN — Year in and year out, Lock Haven University women’s basketball coach Jennifer Smith has hopes of her team making the most of the pre-conference games because she knew what the PSAC would bring for the rest of the season.

Unfortunately for the Bald Eagles, the early season didn’t go well for them as they hoped as they dropped two of their three games. If that wasn’t bad enough, then came PSAC losses to IUP and Seton Hill.

Hoping that the home opener would bring better results when Slippery Rock invaded Thomas Fieldhouse, it didn’t happen as LHU fell to Slippery Rock, 84-63, on Saturday afternoon.

“We are starting a freshman point guard and we have a lot of young players,” said Smith. “Then with some injuries, we haven’t had a consistent mix on the floor and that added to our challenges to start the season. Our record now doesn’t reflect it, but I think we are pushing through it. I think that when we get to (PSAC) East play these challenges are going to make us a better team.”

After playing Slippery Rock even for the first seven minutes, mistakes that were turned into points started cropping up until SRU closed out the first half with a 12-3 run for a 44-29 halftime lead.

“They (SRU) have been pretty consistent with their top six or seven players thus far in the season,” said Smith. “They haven’t had injury issues whereas we are still trying to get comfortable. I think that is what we are seeing when the level of play goes down a little bit when we make substitutions. It is really about us getting comfortable in our rotation.”

Turnovers have characteristically been a thorn in the side of the Bald Eagles and Saturday was no different as they turned the ball over 14 times in the first half that resulted in 18 points. For the game, LHU played give-away 24 times which resulted in 30 points.

“You are not going to win a basketball game when you turn the ball over 24 times,” said Smith. “It has been our Achilles’ heel all season, but that is going to happen with young kids on the floor. We talk about it every day, but we just have to keep grinding. Hopefully we can start chipping away where 24 turns to 16, then 12 and maybe to single digits. It is a day to day process when you have a team as young as we are.”

Rileigh Devine led the Bald Eagles in the scorebook with 20 points, Devine joined in doubles by Bink Redman with a dozen. For Slippery Rock, Brooke Hinderliter led all scorers in the game with 20 points.

For the game, Slippery Rock’s bench outscored the Bald Eagles, 25-13.

Annie Dombroski came off the LHU bench to tally nine points and haul down seven boards.

SLIPPERY ROCK 84,

LOCK HAVEN 63

Slippery Rock (4-3, 3-0 PSAC)

Brooke Hinderliter 9-15 7-7 27; Morgan Henderson 5-10 3-4 13; Ciara Patterson 3-12 4-4 11; Sierra Fordham 2-7 5-6 9; Mallory Heinle 3-9 0-0 8; LeeAnn Gibson 1-5 4-6 6; Krista Pietropola 1-3 1-2 3; Aujanae Givner 1-1 1-2 3; Madison Johnson 0-5 2-2 2; Kaylee Young 1-2 0-0 2; Skyla O’Connor 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 26-74 27-33 84.

Lock Haven (1-5. 0-3 PSAC)

Rileigh Devine 5-13 7-8 20; Bink Redman 3-8 6-10 12; Annie Dombrowski 1-3 7-9 9; Madison McHale 1-5 2-2 5; Jordyn Kloster 1-8 2-2 4; Maimuna Kenneh 1-4 2-6 4; Mackenzie Livingston 1-5 1-2 3; Rayah Fink 1-2 0-0 2; J. Shelton-Burleigh 1-6 0-0 2; Becca Reilly 0-0 1-2 1; Ahnera Parker 0-7 1-4 1; Briana Breski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-61 29-45 63.

Slippery Rock 21 23 21 19 — 84

Lock Haven 16 13 18 6 — 63

3-point goals: SRU 5-23 (Hinderliter 2-3; Heinle 2-6; Patterson 1-5; Gibson 0-1; Pietropola 0-1; Johnson 0-2; O’Connor 0-2; Fordham 0-1; Henderson 0-2), LHU 4-16 (Devine 3-7; McHale 1-4; Kloster 0-2; Livingston 0-2; Redman 0-1). Fouled out: SRU-none, LHU-Devine; Redman. Rebounds: SRU 45 (Gibson 6), LHU 53 (Kenneh 10). Assists: SRU 9 (Fordham 4), LHU 5 (Redman 2). Total fouls: SRU 29, LHU 27. Technical fouls: SRU-none, LHU-none. A:147

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