Men drop to 1-10 on road with thin roster

Written By Derek Malush

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The Pioneers took the floor this weekend looking to end their four-game River State Conference (RSC) losing streak with a pair of road games.

The Pioneers tipped off the RSC road games at Brescia (Ky.) University Friday night with a win in mind, having dropped every road game since November.

The Pioneers were sluggish to start, and trailed by 19 points at the half, shooting only 30 percent, along with some offensive blunders that caused nine of Point Parks 14 turnovers.

“We come out bad in the first half a lot,” junior guard TJ Bates said. “We need to learn how to play all 40 minutes and bring the energy.”

The Pioneers only managed to sink one 3-pointer in the first half, but shot 70 percent from the free throw line going 7-10.

In the second half, Point Park began to pick up the pace, shooting 43 percent from the field with four three-pointers. However, the late game momentum was not enough to seal up a win for the Pioneers, as they fell to Brescia 84-71.

The team was led by junior guard Rushan Roberts who ended the game with a double-double, claiming 18 points and 10 rebounds. Roberts adding a steal and swat to his defensive efforts in his 30 minutes of play.

Sophomore guard Asim Pleas also aided the late game comeback with 15 points in 35 minutes of floor time.

The Pioneers were without four top players for their matchup at Indiana University Southeast Saturday. Junior guard Gavin Rajahpillay joined senior guard and forward Art Christian on the bench with injuries. Point Park is still without leading scorers Sa’iid Allen and Kenny Strong due to academics.

Rajahpillay says he is 95 percent recovered from his injury and expects to be back for the team’s next game this Wednesday against Villa Maria.

IU Southeast ranks No. 1 in the nation in field goal percentage defense, allowing the opposition to shoot only 36 percent from the field.

The Grenadiers displayed that statistic Saturday, holding Point Park to 30 percent from the field, and only 11 percent from long range.

The Pioneers only managed to put up 23 points in the first half on 27 percent shooting. They shot just 11-41 from the field and 0-10 from beyond the arc.

It was more of the same in the second half, as Point Park was outscored by 14 points allowing the IU Grenadiers to shoot 47 percent from the field. The Pioneers were also heavily out-rebounded by the Grenadiers 65-33, leading 50 points in the paint from the opposition.

The Pioneers remained out of sync, as they finished with nine turnovers and only totaled six assists.

“It’s you against the world [when playing on the road], Rajahpillay said. “It’s hard to replace guys like Allen and Strong, but we all need to step up, including myself.”

Sophomore guard Asim Pleas lead the way with 21 points in the RSC loss to IU Southeast, 83-54.

This marks the fourth RSC loss in a row for Point Park as the team’s road woes continue. The Pioneers have only recorded one road win this season.

The Pioneers will play host to their next five contests beginning Wednesday with a  non-conference matchup against Villa Maria (N.Y.) at 7 p.m. Point Park will resume conference play Jan. 27-28 at home against Asbury and Alice Lloyd.

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