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Road teams roll past men’s basketball again

Senior+guard+Rushan+Roberts+takes+a+shot+against+IU+Southeast+last+Friday+during+Point+Park%E2%80%99s+101-74+loss.+
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Road teams roll past men’s basketball again

Senior guard Rushan Roberts takes a shot against IU Southeast last Friday during Point Park’s 101-74 loss.

Senior guard Rushan Roberts takes a shot against IU Southeast last Friday during Point Park’s 101-74 loss.

Photo by Briana Walton | Point Park Athletics

Senior guard Rushan Roberts takes a shot against IU Southeast last Friday during Point Park’s 101-74 loss.

Photo by Briana Walton | Point Park Athletics

Photo by Briana Walton | Point Park Athletics

Senior guard Rushan Roberts takes a shot against IU Southeast last Friday during Point Park’s 101-74 loss.

Written By Derek Malush, Staff Writer

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It has been a rough start to the new year for the Point Park men’s basketball team.

The Pioneers lost two River State Conference (RSC) games at home over the weekend to bring their losing streak to seven. No. 21-ranked Indiana University Southeast 101-74 took down Point Park Friday and then the Pioneers fell Sunday to Brescia University (Ky.) 86-67.

“Everybody is giving their full effort but we just can’t finish,” senior guard Rushan Roberts said.

The Pioneers trailed No. 21-ranked IU Southeast by only two points at the end of the first half on Friday night.

However, it was a different story coming out of the half when Point Park was blown out by 25 points. The Grenadiers outscored the Pioneers 62-37 on 55 percent shooting in the half.

The Pioneers could not seem to keep the ball under control as they accumulated 20 turnovers on the game, 12 of them coming in the second half.

Point Park fielded six players Friday, resulting in just four bench points compared to IU Southeast’s’ 24 bench points.

“We don’t have many players to sub in so our guys are getting fatigued faster than our opponents are,” said Roberts on lack of bench production. “We are waiting for some key players to come back so it will definitely be a Cinderella story for us this year.”

Point Park finished the game shooting just 44 percent from the floor and went 2-for-8 from behind the arc.

They did, however, shoot 80 percent going 24-30 at the charity stripe, something the Pioneers have battled with all season long.

The team was led by senior forward Fousseini Konate who notched a double-double by scoring 14 points on 83 percent shooting and grabbing 16 rebounds. Konate also went 4-5 from the free throw line.

Sophomore guard Daniel King also helped the offense by scoring 20 points on 50 percent shooting, adding two steals and one 3-pointer to his stat line.

Five of the six Pioneers who suited up scored in double figures.

“At the end of the day these guys fought as hard as they can,” Head Coach Gabe Bubon said. “When you have just six guys…there is no more turbo button so we have to play slower.”

The Pioneers dug an early hole that they couldn’t manage to crawl out of on Sunday as the Brescia University Bearcats jumped out to an early lead in the first half, leading by as much as 16 points toward the end of the first 20 minutes.

“You learn a lot about yourself when you’re facing adversity like this,” Bubon said. “Players are finding out capabilities they were not even aware of due to this losing streak.” 

The score was 41-27 at the end of the first half as Point Park let up seven 3-pointers to the Bearcats.

The Pioneer defense was looking rather sluggish as Brescia’s swift ball movement allowed them to register 26 assists on their 33 field goal attempts.

“We got to be smarter,” Konate said. “From us to the coaches we just need to work out the basic things on defense because we do have what it takes to win.”

Both teams shot 17-for-38 from the field in the second half. However, Point Park was outscored 45-40 in the last 20 minutes.

Junior guard Asim Pleas led all scorers with 17 points on 53 percent shooting from the field.

Konate managed his second straight double-double finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds while also swatting five Bearcat shots in the process.

King also totaled 16 points, five assists and six rebounds on the evening.

Senior guard Gavin Rajahpillay returned to action but played only 23 minutes, going 0-6 from the field and 0-2 from long range.

“We may have lost seven in a row but these guys are closer than ever right now,” Bubon said. “We are all going through this and sometimes you go through adversity in life…sometimes things aren’t going to go your way…sometimes it’s going to get worse and that’s what will define you as a person. And people will look at you based on how you handled that situation so that is what I am trying to teach these men.”

Point Park is on the road for its next three games, which are Thursday at Asbury (Ky.), Saturday at Alice Lloyd (Ky.) and Jan. 30 at No. 3 IU East. After that is the final home game Feb. 3 against Ohio Christian for Senior Day.

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