SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. (Jan. 26) – Behind a 16-3 run to start the second half, the Vulcans earned a 68-45 victory against Slippery Rock on Wednesday evening at Morrow Field House in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West action.
Junior forward Amy Johns (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) finished with a game-high 20 points on six-of-nine shooting from the floor and seven-of-eight from the free-throw line. She now has scored at least 20 points seven times this season and ranks among the conference leaders with a career-high 16.5 points per game. The McKeesport native also added four rebounds, two steals and two blocks on Wednesday.
Senior forward Kayla Smith (Elkins, W.Va./Elkins), who entered the week leading NCAA Division II in rebounding, posted another double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds (four offensive). She made 7-of-12 attempts from the floor and four-of-six from the charity stripe, while collecting three steals against The Rock.
Sophomore guard Stephanie Michael (Morgantown, W.Va./Morgantown) established a season high with 15 points after shooting six-of-nine from the field, including three-of-six from beyond the arc. Junior guard Danielle Luckett (Chicago, Ill./James Hubert Blake (Md.)) and freshman forward Elena Antonenko (Moscow, Russia/State University of Physical Education) each finished with seven rebounds, while Luckett added a team-high five assists.
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm offensively early, as Cal U led 11-9 after nearly nine minutes of action. The Vulcans then scored six-straight points to take their largest lead of the first half at 17-9 with 9:28 left before halftime. Slippery Rock responded with a 14-5 run to take its final lead of the game, 23-21, with 1:59 remaining in the first half. Cal U eventually took a 29-26 lead into halftime with Johns scoring 16 of her 20 points in the first half.
Cal U took control of the game after the break, scoring 12-unanswered points to take a 41-26 lead on a trey by Michael at the 16:55-mark. Leading 45-33, the Vulcans scored seven-straight points to increase their lead to 19 points, 52-33, with 9:28 remaining. After the two teams traded baskets, Cal U maintained at least a 19-point lead for the rest of the game and stretched its lead to as many 23 points twice.
For the game, Cal U shot 45.5 percent (25-of-55) from the field and 37.5 percent (6-of-16) from long range. In comparison, Slippery Rock made 34.8 percent (16-of-46) of its shots from the floor and 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from beyond the arc with no treys after halftime after making five-of-seven in the first half.
The Vulcans dominated on the glass and in the paint, out-rebounding The Rock by a 45-27 margin and out-scoring them 26-12 from in close. Cal U also forced Slippery Rock into 20 turnovers, collecting 11 steals and scoring 22 points off turnovers.
Junior forward Danielle Smith led Slippery Rock with 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting, while junior guard Marlynda Harland added 13 points and five rebounds in the loss. Junior Sherita Stanley also finished in double-figure scoring with 10 points and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.
The Vulcans return to Hamer Hall on Saturday, Jan. 29, when they host Lock Haven at 5 p.m. The game is one of two Cal U home games this season scheduled to broadcast live on Pittsburgh CW (Ch. 15/808 Comcast; Ch. 12/713 Atlantic Broadband, Ch. 19/110 Armstrong).
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