Fou fighter saves the day – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

Indiana University East was undefeated in Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) play entering Saturday. The Red Wolves were also undefeated in the all-time series with Point Park, which included an 84-67 KIAC Championship victory over the Pioneers last year.

Just seven minutes into Saturday’s game, IU East led by two touchdowns. It looked like David was en route to burying Goliath who lost four of his last five road games.

Point Park needed a hero, or four.

Sa’iid Allen came off the bench with three crucial treys that kept Point Park in the game and finished with 11 points.

Kelvin Goodwin registered a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He kept Point Park alive early with 12 points in the first half.

Jerah’me Williams scored all 12 of his points in the second half. He took the game into his own hands in the final three minutes, scoring Point Park’s final seven points during that time.

With 57 seconds left, he hit a clutch three at the top of the key that tied the game at 68. He put Point Park ahead with a running floater 40 seconds later.

Enter Fousseini Konate.

While the previous three players had strong games, Konate played the best game of his Point Park career.

The Bamako Mali native quietly scored the first four points for the Pioneers to start the night and had a loud finish to end it.

As IU East trailed by two entering its final possession, Konate already locked up the best game of his season with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Vasha Davis inbounded the ball for the Red Wolves in front of his bench. Guarded by Goodwin, Davis got the pass right back and drove through the lane with less than ten seconds left.

Underneath the hoop, Goodwin took the bait on Davis’ pump fake.

As Davis went up for what looked like an automatic game-tying layup, Konate flew in from behind and swatted his shot back down to the floor.

Konate’s block sealed the deal for Point Park and saved the day. All that was missing was his superhero cape.

“I just saw it,” Konate said. “We wanted to win. Somebody had to do it.”

It’s that simple. Somebody had to step up and Konate did just that. He wasn’t alone though.

Williams came through with seven critical points down the stretch. He and Goodwin have combined for at least 49 points each of Point Park’s last four losses. The duo totaled 26 Saturday.

They needed someone else to get involved and Konate did just that.

Konate’s play on Saturday could act as a turning point in Point Park’s inconsistent season. If he can produce consistently alongside Goodwin and Williams, the Pioneers may have a shot at returning to the KIAC Championship for the second year in a row.