Men’s basketball blown out in road games to finish year


Photo by Briana Walton | Point Park Athletics

Senior guard Gavin Rajahpillay drives for a layup last week against Carlow. The Pioneers finished 4-22 after an 8-20 record last season.

Written By Derek Malush, Staff Writer

The 2017-18 season has not been kind to the Pioneers’ men’s basketball team. Point Park dropped the final three games of the regular season last weekend to extend its losing streak to 15 games.

With three River State Conference (RSC) losses to the University of Rio Grande, Ohio Christian University and West Virginia Tech, Point Park finished the season going 4-22 and 1-16 in RSC play.

“As bad as the year ended I think the guys took a lot away from it,” head coach Gabe Bubon said. “You still need to wake up and grind day-in and day-out to be a better person and that is what these guys did all season.”

With leading rebounder in senior forward Fousseini Konate (9.4 RPG) and leading scorer in sophomore guard Daniel King (19.9 PPG) sidelined due to injury, the Pioneers were left with a lack of height and offensive firepower throughout the tail-end of the season.

“It’s hard to grab a rebound when the other team is subbing in their rested players that are all above 6-feet tall,” Bubon said.

The Pioneers tipped off at Ohio Christian University in a make-up game Thursday night that set a multitude of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) records, none of which were in Point Park’s favor.

The Pioneers were overpowered by Ohio Christian as the final score rested at 157-77.

The 80-point loss eclipsed the previous single-game team record of 68 points, a game the Pioneers dropped to West Liberty 157-89 in 2011.

The Trailblazers set four different NAIA records in their blowout win, all led by senior point guard Jalen Hearn, who dropped 59 points on the Pioneers.

Hearn made 19 made shots from behind the arc to set the NAIA single-game record for 3-pointers made by an individual.

Hearn also shot 73 percent from the floor and went 19-26 on the evening as every shot he took was from behind the 3-point line.

“When you’re hot you’re hot,” junior guard Asim Pleas said. “There was nothing we could do it seemed like.”

Hearn also cemented himself as having one of the highest scoring outputs by an individual at 59 points. There are only a few in the record books that remain higher.

The Trailblazers also now hold the record for most 3-pointers made by a team as they hit 37 shots from deep on 56 percent shooting.

With the help from Point Park, both teams now hold the record for most combined 3-pointers in a game at 45.

Point Park accounted for only eight of the 45 made 3-pointers, as the Pioneers shot just 27 percent from beyond the arc.

The Pioneers also tied their previous record for points allowed in a single game.

“With losing so many guys, it really wasn’t about wins and losses anymore,” Bubon said. “It was about how you handle yourself. You still need to come in and do what you do and these guys loved to play basketball so that is what they did, they played basketball.”

The Pioneers also dropped games at the University of Rio Grande on Tuesday where they lost 90-69 and to WVU Tech on Saturday where they were outplayed 130-76.

“It’s been a long two years at Point Park and I’m going to miss it for sure,” Rajahpillay said.

The Pioneers finished the season at 4-22 and 1-16 in RSC play. They ended the season on a 15-game losing streak that dates back to Dec. 7, 2017.

Bubon remains optimistic about next season.

“[I] want to go all the way with next year’s players,” Bubon said. “Now that I have been here a full year and I’m officially the head coach, I’m going after the best talent I can find.”