The men’s basketball team officially started their season on Saturday, Nov. 7 and were defeated by Byrant & Stratton College 81-78 in Buffalo, New York. The team was also expected to play a game against Bryant & Stratton on Sunday, Nov. 8, but the game has been officially postponed to a later date.
The Bobcats took the lead early in the contest and only lost it once during the first half, with the Pioneers constantly nipping at their heels throughout the game. Bryant & Stratton was only able to lead by as much as 10 in the game and was only leading by a bucket or so.
Point Park was able to tie the contest multiple times and bring the game within one point with 44 seconds to go in the game, but were not able to take the lead in the end. Point Park shot an outstanding 53% from the field, even with a harsh 22% from beyond the arc, though both were similar to the Bobcat’s 47% from the field and 27% from three. The Pioneers also started off where they left off last year when it came to rebounding, out boarding their opponents 36 to 27. 31 points came from the Pioneers bench, making up for about 40% of the Pioneers’ points.
Junior forwards Kam Shockley and Tony James would lead the way for the Pioneers in points and rebounds, both would go on to drop 20 points in the contest, with James grabbing 10 rebounds for the double-double, and Shockley coming up one short with nine. James would go 10 for 12 from the field, with Shockley also leading the team in blocks and shooting more than 50% from three.
Junior forward RJ Fairrow would come off the bench to add another 11 points, with new freshman center Jagshaa Singh Jhawar also putting up eight points and seven rebounds in his debut.
“We played well as a team, and we ran our plays well too,” Shockley said. “We shot 22% from three, I know as a team we are a lot better at shooting than that. We work on shooting a lot in practice, and I think we will show how good of shooters we are on Saturday at home.”
Point Park comes into this season with 24 games on their schedule, ranging from early November to late February, barring any issues due to COVID-19. The team also has four games lined up against multiple NCAA D-1 opponents to be played during November and December.
“Akron and Kent State are right next to my house in Ohio,” Shockley said. “So I’m excited to play there. I’m hoping that we can have fans at those games because of how big the stadiums are.”
The team’s next game will bring the boys back to Pittsburgh, where they’ll play against Alice Lloyd University on Saturday, Nov. 14. The games will be played in the Student Center gym this year here at Point Park, compared to their usual home of CCAC-Alleghney’s gym. This is due to COVID-19 restrictions set by Point Park, the River State Conference (RSC), and the NAIA, making it so that fans will not be able to attend home games this season.
For away games, fans will need to check on the host team’s websites to see if fans are allowed or not at the events. Games can still be streamed through the Point Park Athletics website, both by live stream and by radio, as well as live stats.