Pioneers split games with Midway Sports

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Pioneers split games with Midway Sports

Photo by Emma

Photo by Emma

Photo by Emma

Written By Mason Strawn, Staff Writer

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The Point Park basketball teams split a double header against Midway University on Thursday in Kentucky.

In the men’s game, both teams led for almost an entire half each, but the Eagles would just barely edge out the Pioneers in the final two minutes of the game and defeat Point Park 84-82.

The stats book could not look any weirder: Point Park almost doubled Midway’s rebounding numbers and shot a higher percent from the field at 52-percent, versus Midway’s 49-percent.

At the same time, the Pioneers shot a harsh 14-percent from behind the arc, compared to the Eagles’ 47-percent.

“I believe we have some great bigs and we like to play through them so that’s really our first looks,” junior guard Juwan Willis said. “Once Midway took that option away it was hard for us to get back into our rhythm.”

Midway led for 18 of the 20-minute first half, scoring first at 19:26 off free throws.

The Eagles held that lead and extended it by as much as 11 points. The Pioneers were persistent, and kept the Eagles on their heels until the final minute of the first half. Guard Xavier Prince tied the game at 35, putting the Pioneers ahead 37-35 with one second to go.

Point Park almost mirrored what Midway did in the first half. The Pioneers led for the first 17 minutes of the second half and extended their lead by as much as 13.

With ten minutes left in the game, Midway started to chip away at the Pioneers’ lead, eventually tying the game and finally taking the lead with two minutes to go.

The Eagles hit four free throws in the final 30 seconds to put it out of arm’s reach, as the Pioneers missed the last-second three that was put back with no time left by Garret McHenry.

McHenry, a junior forward, led the team in points with 15 and 8 rebounds off the bench. He was one of five different players to score in double digits for Point Park.

Three of those five players also came off the bench.

“We need real good defense and ball pressure if we want to win games like that,” sophomore guard Sherron Schifino said.

“With every loss exposes what you need to work on and with us it’s definitely our shooting as we’ve been in a shooting slump and our ball screen defense,” Willis said.

In the women’s game, Point Park held off the Eagles to win it 73-70.

The Pioneers scored first and never trailed throughout the entire contest, though Midway would not go away.

The Eagles consistently nipped at the heels of Point Park, but the Pioneers held firm till the end.

On the stat sheet, freshman forward Taylor Rinn dominated, leading the game with a double-double, putting up 26 points and 15 rebounds on 67-percent shooting.

Junior guard Michelle Burns was right behind her, scoring 16 points and tied for the most assists with three.

The team as a whole shot 41-percent from the field compared to Midway’s 36-percent.

Midway shot the exact same from behind the arc, while Point Park shot a much harsher 22-percent.

Of course, the biggest difference maker came from the second chance points: Point Park lost out on 17 points from missed shots, compared to the Eagles’ eight points from their misses. It was ultimately the reason why the Pioneers were  able to stay ahead throughout the entire game.

Between these two games, the men now fall to 9-8 on the season, now going 2-2 in River State Conference (RSC) play. The women, on the other hand, improve to 10-7 on the year, and get their first win in conference play to improve to 1-3.

Both teams will play back-to-back games once again for their next two games, facing RSC rivals IU East at home on Tuesday before traveling to Ohio Christian University on Saturday.