South by Southeast – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

Josh Croup,
Sports Columnist

You know it’s not your night when you lose both games. It’s really not your night when you shoot 33% from the field in one game and lose a 10 point lead in another.

That was the case for both Point Park basketball teams last Friday night.

The women struggled from the start against the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) South Division leader Indiana University Southeast. Trailing 34-27 at the half, Point Park was shooting just 25% from the field. Their 27 points were the second-fewest they scored in a first half this year.

It wasn’t their night.

After fighting back to tie the game at 61, it looked like things were turning around. Then a late 3-pointer from IU Southeast’s Kaylee Bennett gave them the boost that they needed.

Kelly Johnson later tried to give the Pioneers the lead when she drove in for a layup, but was blocked by 5-11 center Mary Dye.

It wasn’t their night.

With 13.6 seconds left, the Pioneers trailed 65-63 and had a chance to tie or take the lead. They turned to Alexa Xenakis, who leads the team in treys, to give them the win. She threw up a deep three with five seconds remaining that bounced off the front of the rim. She chased down her own rebound and threw up a prayer from 30 feet out that bounced off the back iron.

It wasn’t their night.

The men played back and forth basketball early with the Grenadiers, who struggled up to that point in the season, entering the game with a 4-14 record, 1-6 KIAC. IU Southeast entered the game having never lost to Point Park, who owned a 5-0 record in the all-time series.

IU Southeast entered the locker room at halftime with a slight 42-40 lead, but Point Park pulled away in the second half to eventually gain a 69-59 lead.

It looked like it could be their night. But then, the Pioneers proved it really wasn’t their night.

IU Southeast went on a 20-8 run to close the game as the Pioneers ran into foul trouble. Trailing 79-77 with five seconds left, the game was in the hands of Jerah’me Williams who fired a deep three from almost the same spot as Xenakis’s second chance three-pointer that was off the mark.

The shot bounced off the front of the rim, off of the backboard and missed.

It wasn’t their night.

Both teams played very different games. One struggled to take the lead while the other controlled most of the second half and lost the lead.

It just wasn’t their night.