Women finish perfect run against West

Photo by Briana Walton | Point Park Athletics
Junior guard Kaitlyn Smith puts up a shot against IU East defenders in the first meeting between the two teams earlier this month. After a rematch at IU East Tuesday, Point Park returns to CCAC, Allegheny this Saturday for Senior Day against Ohio Christian at 3 p.m.

Written By Allison Schubert, Co-Features Editor

The women’s basketball team finished out its games against River States Conference (RSC) West Division opponents on Saturday, ending the season undefeated against the West.

Point Park entered the weekend in Kentucky 11-8 overall, 6-3 in RSC play and 5-0 against West Division opponents.

Their first game came on Thursday against Asbury University.

It was a cold start for the Pioneers, who shot just 25 percent from the field in the first 10 minutes, but held the lead 15-12. For the remaining 30 minutes of play, the game was all Point Park.

“Due to us being an athletic team, we luckily never rely on our shots to fall,” senior guard Maryssa Agurs said. “If they do, that’s even more of a bonus for us. We typically get our buckets in transition and score off other team’s turnovers that we convert into points for us.”

Junior forward Sam Weir and Agurs led the Pioneers with 17 points apiece, and Kaitlyn Smith contributed 12 points of her own to complete the trifecta of players in double digits.

Point Park held Asbury to just 23 points and eight made field goals in the second half, thanks to the defensive effort by the Pioneers.

11 different players had steals Thursday afternoon, led by sophomore guard Tyra James, who had five herself.

“It’s crucial that everyone plays their part,” Agurs said. “Where one person lacks, someone else picks up for what they’re lacking. That’s what a winning team does.”

The Pioneers also grabbed 19 offensive rebounds compared to Asbury’s nine, and out-rebounded the Eagles in total 45-38.

Offensively, Point Park made nine 3-pointers and had ten players contribute on the scoreboard in the 90-51 victory.

“It’s so important that everyone is contributing, but not only through scoring,” Burns said. “Everyone has something specific about them that adds to this team and that’s what makes us win.”

With their win at Asbury and West Virginia Tech’s loss to Alice Lloyd two days prior, the Pioneers advanced to the third-place spot in the East Division.

From there, the Pioneers took on Alice Lloyd, the same team that had just assisted in their boost to that third-place spot, and which also holds first place in the West Division.

Alice Lloyd held a 20-16 lead after the first quarter, which expanded to a ten-point, 44-34 lead by halftime.

The Pioneers did not let that discourage them, and came out of the locker room to outscore the Eagles 46-29 in the remaining 20 minutes.

“We knew we were the better team and we weren’t executing like we were supposed to,” Weir said. “We basically just said we needed to cut into the deficit one possession at a time and get big defensive stops.”

Weir had another big night for Point Park, contributing 24 points, ten of which came in the fourth quarter, nine rebounds and two blocks. Freshman guard Mitch Burns tallied 13 points and James had ten to help the Pioneers to their close 80-73 victory.

The Pioneers left Kentucky 13-8 overall and 8-3 in RSC play, keeping them in third place as playoffs approach.

“We’re definitely clicking on all cylinders now,” Weir said. “Coach says it best when he says good teams peak at the right point in the season, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Everyone is playing their role and we’re just having fun with it.”

Point Park has six games left, five of which are on the road.

Point Park travels to Indiana for a rematch against IU East on Tuesday. The Red Wolves defeated Point Park 96-78 in Pittsburgh earlier this month. The Pioneers then come home for senior day and the last game in Pittsburgh this regular season against Ohio Christian University on Saturday.