Heartbreak loss to RSC post-season potential

Written By Allison Schubert, Co-Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team played on two very opposite ends of the spectrum this past week in River States Conference (RSC) play.

The Pioneers first traveled to Indiana University (IU) East for a neck-and-neck game against the Red Wolves.

“There are a lot of new faces this year,” junior guard Baylie Mook said. “Only five of the current players are returning from last year and we keep adding to the roster, so with games like [the IU East game], coach is trying new combinations and seeing what works in-game.”

Point Park’s new combination of faces led after the first ten minutes of play 11-5. Scoring in the second quarter was almost even, sending the Red Wolves to the locker room with a five-point deficit, 25-20.

It was the second half that got things going on both sides, but IU East held Point Park to just 13 points opposed to their 22 for the third quarter.

“Our biggest struggle right now is putting the ball in the hoop,” senior forward Sam Weir said. “We’ll play great defense, but we don’t produce on the other end and we need to start that to get a chance in the playoffs.”

The fourth quarter was back and forth for all ten minutes, but it was a missed 3-pointer in the final seconds that lost it for Point Park 64-62.

“We just need to get better and win the games that we are capable of winning,” head coach Tony Grenek said post-game on Saturday. “We are capable of doing better. You got Michelle Burns, Sam Weir, Kait Smith, Tyra James – they just need to step up game in and game out and give us a run in the playoffs.”

Junior guard Tyra James led all scorers with 14 points, followed by sophomore guard Michelle Burns with 13 points and Weir’s seven points.

The Pioneers and Red Wolves both sunk about one-third of their shots, shooting 33 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Point Park led in forced turnovers, committing 14 but forcing 22.

“We’re working on it,” Mook said. “We’re trying to mesh better, we have to stop committing turnovers, knock down some shots, and put it all together.”

After the final-second loss on Tuesday, Point Park returned to CCAC – Allegheny to host the Ohio Christian University (OCU) Trailblazers.

Scoring was even at 15 points apiece after the first quarter, but Point Park took the lead late in the second for a 28-19 lead at the end of the half.

OCU lit up the scoreboard in the third quarter, but the Pioneers were close behind, scoring 29 and 27 points, respectively.

Another late run by the Pioneers gave them the win 76-65 in the remaining few minutes.

Four starters for Point Park ended in double digits, led by a monster game by Weir.

“A lot of what she does on the court has nothing to do with any coach teaching her,” Grenek said. “She is just naturally a great athlete.”

Weir’s fifth double-double in eight games was achieved with 30 points, one off of a career-high, and 17 rebounds, three away from her career-high.

“We put ourselves in not a great situation this far into the season, so now it’s time to grind it out and start winning,” Weir said. “So my personal goals now are just to do whatever I have to do to help the team win.”

The other three included Smith with 15 points, Burns with 11 points and Mook’s season-high 12 points.

The Pioneers out-shot the Trailblazers 42 percent to 36 percent from the field, but were even at 79 percent from the charity stripe.

Point Park is back on the road this week for two more conference games and looking to get back into the playoff picture, first at Brescia University and then at Indiana University Southeast before returning home the following weekend.