Point Park Globe

Fun and threes fuel victory on senior night

Written By Michael Richter

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Photo courtesy of Liz Berie, Point Park Athletics
Senior guard Alexa Xenakis scored a season-high 21 points during a senior night victory against Midway on Feb. 11 at CCAC South.

 

After dominating the winless Midway University, senior Point Park women’s basketball players Leah Hurst and Alexa Xenakis wrapped their arms around each other and did a small dance before leaving the court. 

“Honestly, it was more fun than anything,” said Hurst. “We played for each other. It is a good memory to have.”

The Pioneers routed Midway 88-46 during Senior Night at home on Feb. 11. With an 18-9 overall record and a 10-4 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) record, Point Park currently holds second place in the KIAC Colonial Division. 

Midway limited Point Park to single-digit leads throughout the first quarter, as the Pioneers struggled to make shots early on. However, after the first quarter, the Pioneers offense turned up its efficiency. 

In the first seven minutes of the second quarter, the Pioneers went on a 23-6 run, where forward Carly Forse scored 10 points. The Pioneers finished the half with a 16-point lead. 

It’s raining threes

In the second half, the Pioneers shot 47 percent from 3-point range — which allowed them to rack up 10 3-pointers in the final two quarters against Midway. Point Park scored 49 points in the second half. 61 percent of those points came from 3-point tries. 

With the Pioneers consistently m

aking baskets, Midway did not have any chance to make a comeback in the second half. 

The Pioneers made 42.5 percent of their 3-point attempts. They made 17 3-point shots altogether, totaling 51 points. About 58 percent of Point Park’s points against Midway came from 3-point attempts. 

“We’re capable of getting hot,” said Point Park head coach Tony Grenek. “We have really good shooters, and it was falling for us tonight.”

Point Park seniors Carly Corcoran and Xenakis started off the game with a pair of 3-pointers, which foreshadowed the rest of the game against Midway. Both seniors made five 3-pointers versus Midway. 

Corcoran accumulated all of her 15 points on shots from beyond the arc. Four of her five successful 3-point attempts occurred in the fourth quarter. In addition, she possessed the best 3-point shooting percentage of the game – 71 percent. 

Fueled by her strong night from 3-point range, Xenakis finished with 21 points – scoring the most points of the game.   

“The threes kept us rolling,” said Xenakis. 

Following the victory, Grenek said that the Pioneers’ great night from 3-point range served as a confidence-booster for his team. 

“It was great to see a lot of smiles on people’s faces,” Grenek said. “This was huge because we have been struggling to make shots as of late.” 

Honoring the seniors

Prior to the Pioneers’ obliteration of Midway, Point Park honored its four senior players – Xenakis, Hurst, Corcoran and Briauna Brownfield. 

The four players were introduced individually over the P.A. in front of the crowd at CCAC South. Upon hearing their names called, each senior met their parents at the center of the court. 

All four players received loud applause from the crowd, especially Xenakis. 

During an interview after the game, Xenakis said that she thanked God for the support of her family, who were in attendance. Coupled with being able to play in front of her family, Xenakis’ fun with her teammates on the court made her senior night unforgettable. 

“This is the best night I’ve ever had,” Xenakis said. 

With the regular season coming to a close, Xenakis reminisced about her time at Point Park and emphasized the importance of her team and teammates. 

“It [the women’s basketball team] seriously meant everything,” Xenakis said. “Basketball is my whole life. I love every single one of my teammates. It is hard to imagine life without them and the team.” 

In addition, Hurst referred to her teammates as sisters during a post-game interview. 

Before coming to Point Park, Hurst played for Alderson Broaddus University. She felt unwelcome during her time with that team and transferred to Point Park. She wanted teammates with whom she could bond, which is what happened when she transferred. 

“Everybody was so kind and open,” Hurst said. “I bonded immediately with a bunch of my teammates.” 

Hurst stressed that the close-knit relationships with her teammates has meant a great deal to her. 

“I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be surrounded by on and off the court,” Hurst said. “That’s all you ever want in a team is to feel like a family. That’s what makes a team win close games and have fun together.”

Up next:

The Pioneers play their last two regular season games on the road. They play at IU Southeast on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m., and IU Kokomo on Feb. 20 at noon. If they win both of their final regular season games, they will be guaranteed to play at home in the opening round of the KIAC tournament on Feb. 24. 

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