Home win caps off weekend

Men now sit third place in conference

Written By Robert Berger, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team picked up a key conference win this past weekend after defeating Ohio Christian University (OCU)  77-58 at home Saturday afternoon.

“The key to the game when you look at, we had 16 assists, only eight turnovers, we hit 12 threes, we out rebounded them… and for us to limit them to just 10 3-pointers made, that’s huge,” head coach Joe Lewandowski said following the game.

Offensive efforts were lead by senior guard Asim Pleas shooting 6-8 from the floor and 2-3 from beyond the arc. He also shot for a near perfect 5-6 from the foul line. Pleas ended the game with 19 points and three assists.

Senior guard Daniel King also made his presence known on offense ending the game with 17 points. King shot 6-16 for two and 4-13 for three.

Early on, the Pioneers made their lead seven points after an Asim Please three, but OCU turned it around with an 11 point run giving them a 14-9 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.

After taking a timeout, Point Park battled back bringing in sophomore guard Tudor Shelton who drained two 3-pointers in a row, followed by another from junior forward Cortez Allen. Shelton, making his debut in a Pioneer uniform, sunk one more three before the end of the half to give him nine points in the first.

The rest of the half was back and forth with the score being tied with two minutes remaining. After a couple missed 3-pointers from the hands of Daniel King that resulted in successful OCU drives, Point Park was trailing 32-29 heading into the second.

Point Park began the second half with a 3-pointer from Pleas to tie the game, but OCU fought back again and managed to take a 38-32 lead within the first two minutes of the half.

The first 25 minutes featured 14 lead changes and seven ties, but from here on out, Point Park took over on offense and began to work on securing the game.

Overall, the team shot 57 percent in the half while making 7-15 baskets from three. The team also made 9-12 from the foul line which is an area they have struggled in earlier this season. After a first half without scoring, sophomore Mark Shehady turned it around and put up 10 points in the second.

The defense also held up for the Pioneers as Allen secured 10 rebounds throughout the contest. Sophomore guard Kyle Carrington also made his presence known on defense ending the game with nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

“We rebounded the basketball very well, and for us to limit them to just ten 3-pointers made is just huge because they really shoot the basketball well and they are so well coached,” Lewandowski said.

On the day, Point Park shot 45 percent from the field and 33 percent from three.

The win placed Point Park third overall in the River States Conference (RSC) and brought their record to 3-5 in conference play. They now sit behind West Virginia Tech University and Indiana University (IU) East who are tied 6-1 in the standings. Both teams are ranked in the top 25 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) standings in which they place 12th and 17th respectively.

The team was also in action last Tuesday night losing to conference opponent IU East 107-56. In the first half, Point Park was held to only 24 points as they trailed 53-24 at the conclusion. The defense allowed eight 3-pointers in the first alone.

IU East continued to dominate Point Park in the second half as they once again were successful eight times from beyond the arc and six different players earning double-digit point totals.

King finished the game leading Point Park in Points with 14 after going 4-11 from the field and 2-4 from beyond the three point line. Senior guard Tramell Perry put up eight points and led the team in rebounds with nine.

The Pioneers continue conference play on the road this Thursday in Kentucky against Brescia University and Saturday in Indiana facing Indiana University Southeast.