Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Men’s basketball offense goes on late run to secure victory

photo courtesy of Liz Berie, Point Park Athletics
Senior guard Jerah’me Williams got his 1,000 career point during a home game win against Rio Grande on Feb. 6 at CCAC South. 

In a span of 57 seconds, Point Park men’s basketball guard Jerah’me Williams made two 3-point shots, which gave the Pioneers an 81-80 lead over Rio Grande University with 2:03 left on the scoreboard.

“For most of the game, I couldn’t get the look that I wanted,” Williams said. “Then I hit those threes [in the last couple minutes of the game]. I didn’t think it was going to happen, but I’m blessed for that.” 

The Pioneers (13-10) defeated Rio Grande (16-9) 92-89 at home on Feb. 6. The win improved Point Park’s Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) record to 6-7, as the team remains in the hunt for a KIAC playoff spot. 

“We have intensity and desire,” said Point Park head coach Bob Rager. “A lot of times when you have intensity and desire, it’s going to go your way.”

The score was close throughout most of the first half of the game. The RedStorm managed to build the biggest lead of the opening half, as they were up 30-23 with 6:26 until halftime. 

Then the Point Park offense was reinvigorated by a series of plays from forward Yandell Denis. He scored one layup, then got a steal and took the ball to the other end of the court for an uncontested layup. This decreased Rio Grande’s lead to 30-27 with 5:18 to play until halftime.

Shortly thereafter, Pioneers guard Sa’iid Allen sunk a 3-pointer to tie the game at 32. Additionally, guard Kelvin Goodwin and Denis scored a couple more points. Finally, Fousseini Konate scored on a layup to knot the score at 38 with 13 seconds remaining prior to the half. 

Two 3-pointers enabled the RedStorm to jump ahead early on in the second half. For about 17 minutes of the second half, Rio Grande either led or the score was tied. 

The Pioneers did not turn things around until there were less than five minutes to play. Starting at 4:46 to play, the Pioneers went on a 15-0 run after trailing 80-71. 

“With their size, we had to start making plays from the floor,” Rager said. “And eventually, we started doing that. I think that fueled the run.”

Goodwin kicked off the run with a point from the foul line. On the ensuing offensive possession, Konate forced a foul and added two more points. 

With three minutes remaining, Williams hit his first of two clutch 3-pointers, putting the Pioneers within three of Rio Grande. On the next play, RedStorm guard Kevonta Black turned the ball back over to the Pioneers. Subsequently, Goodwin added a point from the foul line, decreasing Rio Grande’s lead to 80-78 with 2:22 left. 

After another Rio Grande turnover, Williams scored on another 3-point shot, and the Pioneers led for the remainder of the game. 

Williams attributed Konate’s screening ability as the reason for making both 3-point attempts late in the game.

“Fou (Konate) set screens that allowed me to get a good look at the basket,” Williams said. “Fou is the best screener I’ve ever played with.”

Williams finished the game with 24 points, which put him over 1,000 points scored in his two seasons at Point Park. He is the 20th player in school history to achieve this accomplishment. (Read more in Croup’s Corner). 

Konate totaled 27 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks against the RedStorm. His 27 points are a career-high. 

“We’ve been working hard every day in practice, and coach has been pushing us,” Konate said. “We’ve been able to pick it up after some downfall at the beginning of the season.”

Up next for the Pioneers is a road game against Indiana University Southeast (8-16) on Feb. 19. 

“With a couple of games left, we just [have to] go hard,” Rager said.

photo courtesy of Liz Berie, Point Park Athletics
Sophomore forward Fousseini Konate scored a career-high 27 points during Saturday’s 92-89 win against Rio Grande at CCAC South.


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