Women open conference play


Photo by Point Park Athletics

Senior guard Kaitlyn Smith dribbles into the offensive zone against IU Kokomo Saturday afternoon. Smith lead the team in points with 23 but the team lost 77-71 . They continue conference play this Saturday.

Written By Allison Schubert, Co-Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team had a busy week, playing three games in five days and beginning their River States Conference (RSC) schedule, but was only able to pick up one non-conference win.

The Pioneers began their week on Tuesday, hosting cross-city rival Carlow to open RSC play at CCAC-Allegheny.

Point Park and Carlow were neck-and-neck throughout the first ten minutes of play, with the Pioneers only down by one at the end of the first quarter.

Junior guard Ariana Sanders led a scoring rush in the second quarter, when the Pioneers out-scored the Celtics 23-16. This run would put Point Park up 39-33 before heading into the locker room.

The Pioneers defense remained strong in the second half, forcing 32 Celtic turnovers throughout the game, but it was the Point Park offense that cost them the game.

Point Park scored 12 points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, and shot just 32 percent for the entire game.

Carlow’s 26-point showing in the final ten minutes handed them the win 73-63.

Sanders led the Pioneers with 18 point and nine rebounds in the game, 13 of those points coming in the first half scoring run. Sophomore guard Michelle Burns notched 16 points of her own. The Celtics out-rebounded the Pioneers 55-38 and shot 52 percent in the second half.

Putting their first RSC loss behind them, the Pioneers traveled to McKeesport, Pennsylvania for a non-conference match against PSU – Greater Allegheny (PSUGA).

Point Park flaunted the depth on its bench, with 11 players seeing minutes in the game and all 11 reaching the scoring column.

The Pioneers took an early lead, which they built up to a 17-point lead by halftime. They held the Lions to just five points in the fourth quarter, taking the win 65-38.

Junior guard Tyra James had a team-high 12 points, followed by Sanders and Burns with nine points apiece. Guards Baylie Mook and Sierra Dawson contributed points from the bench, adding in eight and seven points, respectively.

Point Park won in every aspect of the stat sheet, out-rebounding the Lions 40-27, out-shooting them by 11 percent, and forcing ten more turnovers than PSUGA.

With a fresh win under their belt, the Pioneers came back to CCAC – Allegheny for another RSC match against Indiana University Kokomo.

The first quarter foreshadowed the remaining half hour of play, with the game knotted at 16 after the first ten minutes.

The Cougars took advantage of Point Park’s 32 percent shooting and edged out the Pioneers 34-29 by the half.

Both teams shot 50 percent in the second half, leading the score to bounce back and forth for all of the final 20 minutes.

The Cougars pulled out a 77-71 win with a few big baskets in the final few minutes of play.

Point Park had a big offensive effort regardless, with senior captain Kaitlyn Smith leading the team and recording a career-high 23 points. Two other Pioneers tallied double-digit scoring numbers in Burns and James, who had 19 and 12 points, respectively.

Sophomore forward Carly Lutz led the rebounding effort with 11 grabs, six of which were in the offensive zone. Sanders added nine rebounds, six points and seven assists.

Point Park will take a brief break before hosting RSC opponent WVU Tech on Saturday, Dec. 8.