Women head into playoffs seeded No. 3


Photo by Emilee Fails

Senior Kaitlyn Smith makes an offensive push during her senior night contest against Rio Grande. This past weekend, Smith put up 15 points in a contest against Ohio Christian University.

Written By Allison Schubert, Co-Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team is headed into River States Conference (RSC) playoffs after splitting their last two regular season games.

Their first game of the week was their concluding game on their home turf, hosting the second-place Indiana University (IU) East on Tuesday night.

Going into the game, Point Park had not beaten the Red Wolves for the past four and a half years both at home and on the road.

Led by seniors Sam Weir and Kaitlyn Smith, the Pioneers were determined to change that with this late-season matchup.

Point Park began the game out-scoring IU East 31-16 in the first quarter. The Red Wolves picked up steam in the next two quarters, out-scoring the Pioneers in both, 23-16 and 24-15, respectively. Through three, IU east barely held the lead 63-62.

With just minutes left on the clock, Weir pulled up for a deep trey that gave the Pioneers a 76-75 lead. A defensive stop and resulting free throw from junior guard Ariana Sanders put Point Park up by two with seconds on the clock.

The Pioneers committed one final foul, but IU East’s Bailey Dreiman made one of two, and Weir grabbed the rebound to run down the remaining seconds and give Point Park the win 77-76.

Four Pioneers ended in double digits: Weir posting another double-double with 20 points, 18 rebounds, and adding five blocks, Smith with 19 points, Sanders adding in 11 points and five rebounds, and junior Tyra James shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc to add in 14 points of her own.

Photo by Emilee Fails
Michelle Burns looks to take the lane in a match-up against Rio Grande earlier this month. Burns scored nine points during the win against IU East before being taken out due to injury.

Sophomore guard Michelle Burns added in nine points in the first half, but sat the second half due to a foot injury.

Point Park out-shot IU East in field goals, treys, and free throws, but was out-rebounded by the Red Wolves 46-36.

To conclude their season in the gym of CCAC – Allegheny, Point Park won their eighth in a row in the building and have a 10-3 overall record at home this season.

After the win against the Red Wolves, Point Park remained in contention for a home playoff game, just needing Carlow to also defeat IU East for that to become a reality.

Unfortunately for the Pioneers, the Celtics fell to the Red Wolves 83-61, solidifying Point Park’s third-place finish in the RSC East division. WVU Tech remain in the number-one spot, and IU East confirmed their two seed with the win over Carlow.

Next up for the Pioneers was the regular season finale at Ohio Christian on Saturday. Point Park was without Burns, who was still battling her foot injury suffered in the game against IU East.

The game was tied at 17 after the first ten minutes and remained close until the very end. Ohio Christian held just a two-point lead at the end of the half.

Point Park picked up some heat in the third, out-scoring the Trailblazers 25-19 and holding a two-point lead going into the final ten minutes. Play remained virtually even, and sophomore forward Abbey Davis hit a big trey to end regulation in another tie, 78-78.

James scored the first seven in the overtime period for Point Park, giving them an 85-83 lead early on. The Pioneers committed several turnovers following James’ run to turn things in their favor 89-85.

Weir hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game with less than a minute to go, but the Trailblazers made a couple of free throws on some late fouls to give them the win, 91-88.

All five starters ended in double digits. Weir and James contributed 20 points apiece, Smith and Baylie Mook, who took Burns’ place in the lineup, each scored 15 points, and Sanders tallied 11. Point Park forced just 11 turnovers, but committed 21, which ultimately led to their defeat.

The next game for Point Park opens postseason play. They will travel to IU Kokomo, which is seeded No. 2 in the RSC West. The Pioneers faced the Cougars in the second RSC game of the season, resulting in a 77-71 loss for Point Park at home.

Should Point Park win against IU Kokomo, it will play against the winner of (No. 4 West) Midway University and (No. 1 East) WVU Tech.