All in With Allison – The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Written By Allison Schubert, Sports Columnist

It’s that time of year again – the best time of year, if you ask me: basketball season.

I may be biased since I dedicated 10 years of my life to the sport, but think about it: the beginning of basketball season means fall is in full swing, midterms have passed and the semester is winding down before winter break.

Being a work study for the athletics department, a lot of my winter break will be spent at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)’s Allegheny campus gym press box doing play-by-play, color commentary or chasing down players with a camera post-game, but I don’t mind that one bit.

The men have yet to start, but in all of the times that I have spoken to a few of the players, they seem to be taking to their new coach, Joe Lewandowski, and have gotten a lot of good practice in before their season start Nov. 1. They have a lot to prove after going 4-22 on the season last year and only 1-16 in River States Conference (RSC) play and 8-20 the season prior.

Lewandowski and his squad open up play at home, hosting Wilberforce University, and stay at home for the first half of a home-and-home series against Penn State – Shenango five days later on Nov. 6.

The women, on the other hand, have already had their first two games of the season, participating in the Lawrence Tech (Michigan) Classic last Friday and Saturday.

Friday’s game was against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) opponent University of Michigan – Dearborn. Senior Kaitlyn Smith and sophomore Michelle Burns each tallied 15 points apiece, but the Pioneers had an overall shooting percentage of 29 percent. UM – Dearborn was able to turn on their offense in the second half of the game, and Point Park left the gym with a 72-51 loss.

Saturday’s opponent was the Lawrence Tech Blue Devils, who are ranked No. 21 in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Pioneers held their own in the final three quarters, with the greatest point differential being five not, but a ten-point deficit in the first quarter led them to a 70-56 loss.

Burns again led the Pioneers with 15 points, and senior Carly Lutz recorded her first double-double of the season with 11 points and ten rebounds.

The women have a rough road ahead, facing four ranked teams in the preseason, including Rio Grande, who is ranked No. 24, and IU East ranked No. 33.

Point Park lost a lot of talent last year in Baylee Buleca and Maryssa Agurs, among others, but I am excited to see how the younger players and the new players will step up in their absence.

Despite their season starting early this year, the Pioneers will not see a game in their home gym until a week after the men, hosting their first game of the season against Ave Maria University on Nov. 8.

Both the men and women do not begin RSC play until Nov. 27, a double-header in the CCAC-Allegheny gym against Carlow University.

The smell of leaves falling (from the few trees that we have,) winter can be felt in the air, and the sounds of basketballs being dribbled are echoing on the first floor of the student center.

It’s my favorite time of year – and luckily for me, it lasts until mid-February.