University athletics kept busy over break

Written By Michael Richter

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Over winter break, academics may have halted, but Point Park sports surely did not. The men’s and women’s basketball teams were busy, and the Point Park Athletic Department announced the addition of a new varsity sport, competitive cheer and dance (see above).

Women’s Basketball:

The Point Park women’s basketball team now has an overall record of 12-5, and a 5-1 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) record, which places the team second in the KIAC colonial division. 

At the Shawnee State Classic from Dec. 11-12, the women’s basketball team went 0-2. 

The Pioneers were defeated by the No. 12 ranked Shawnee State 83-61 in their first matchup. The Pioneers had a difficult time on defense, as Shawnee State made 52 percent of its shots from the field. 

Freshman guard Kaitlyn Smith scored 13 points while fellow guard Celina DiPietro led the team in points with 14.

On the second day of the tournament, the Pioneers fell to Auburn Montgomery University 53-49. 

Point Park garnered a commanding 22-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, and it maintained the lead until a dominant third quarter from Auburn Montgomery. 

In that defensive contest, Smith scored a team-high of 10 points. She was the only Pioneers player to reach a double-digit point total, and she was one of two players from both teams to reach double digits. 

From there, the Pioneers picked up their game and won three straight contests on the road— two of which were against KIAC foes. 

Point Park defeated Rio Grande 74-65 on Jan. 2. Guard Alexis Xenakis led the team in scoring with 18 points, 12 of which came from beyond the arc, and Smith added 15 points to the Pioneers’ total. Carly Forse finished with a double-double — she amassed 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

The Pioneers pummeled Penn State University-Fayette 90-54 on Jan. 7. This is the team’s best offensive showing of the year thus far. They made 53 percent of their field goals. Bench players Kiana Daley and Devon Larkin led the team with 16 points, respectively.

With 19 points each from DiPietro and Xenakis, the Pioneers claimed victory over Cincinnati Christian University 68-55. Center Baylee Buleca also had a great game — she put up nine points, 11 rebounds, four steals and four blocks. 

Men’s Basketball:

After going 1-2 in its last three games on the road, the Point Park men’s basketball team has an overall record of 9-7 and a 2-4 KIAC record. Currently, the Pioneers have the fifth-best ranked offense in National Athletics Intercollegiate Association (NAIA) Division II basketball. 

The Pioneers fell to Rio Grande 117-114 on Jan. 2. Point Park guard Kelvin Goodwin scored 31 points and shot 91 percent from the free-throw line. Fellow guard Jerah’me Williams added 20 points. 

In this high scoring affair, Rio Grande’s three point offense catapulted it to a win. The Ohio school made 43.6 percent of its three-point attempts, and 51 of its total points were from three-pointers. 

The Pioneers beat Penn State University-Fayette 90-84 on Jan. 7. Just like the Point Park women’s basketball team, the men’s basketball team shot well against Penn State University-Fayette. 

The Pioneers made 59 percent of their shots from the field. Goodwin scored 20 points. Off the bench, Pioneers guard Sa’iid Allen generated 12 points. 

On Jan. 9, Cincinnati Christian defeated Point Park 99-91. Cincinnati Christian led by as much as 17 points at one point in the third quarter, but the Pioneers battled back and came within four points of the Ohio-based team with 2:30 left in the game. 

However, the Pioneers were unable to mount a come-from-behind victory. Williams led the Pioneers in points with 28 and Goodwin racked up 26. 

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