Fans should be proud – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

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If you are a fan of Point Park basketball, you have a lot to be proud of after the 2014-15 season ended over spring break.

Both the men’s and women’s teams failed to win the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) Tournament after securing first round home games. The men lost in the conference championship game to Indiana University East 84-67, and the women lost in the conference semifinals to eventual champion Asbury 65-57.

The women entered the season as the three-time defending KIAC champions and had a starting five that could compete with any school in the country and a bench that was just as good.

Five games into the season, sophomore center Sam Weir – their leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker up to that point – suffered a season ending
knee injury.

But the Pioneers did what they always had. They persevered and did their best to overcome the injury.

It was the second year in a row they went without one of their top players. Ja’Nia McPhatter, who was their leading scorer and rebounder the previous year, missed all of last season with an ankle injury.

The team went 21-4 without Weir, finished second in the KIAC North and hosted a first round playoff game. During that game, McPhatter left early with a knee injury to not return; however, they persevered through McPhatter’s injury and escaped with an 82-79 win over Midway.

Without Weir and McPhatter, they fell to Asbury in the conference semis 65-57.

The men entered this season with a different story. They were coming off a disappointing 11-17 overall 2013-14 season and a first round tournament conference tournament loss.

This year, they improved to 16-13 overall and 6-7 in conference play, good for second place in the KIAC North.

Despite finishing sixth overall in the conference and with a losing record in conference play, they were able to host a first round playoff game because of their second place finish in the North. They knocked off Cincinnati Christian for the third time this season then went on the road and rolled over Brescia en route to the KIAC Championship.

The team of underdogs did something they weren’t supposed to do: win in the post season. And they won on the road, too.

Williams and Kelly Johnson were named KIAC Newcomers of the Year after carrying their teams throughout the season. Also, they joined McPhatter as All-KIAC selections.

No, neither team will make the trip to nationals this year.

However, the achievements from the players, the perseverance they showed and their never give up attitudes this season should make Point Park basketball fans proud of both teams accomplishments.