Point Park’s Men’s basketball enters final week of regular season

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park’s men’s basketball team split this week’s games, defeating River State Conference (RSC) rival’s Ohio Christian University and falling to WVU Tech in the second to last week of their regular season. The win and lose puts the Pioneers at 6-8 on the season, with the team still being undefeated at home and still have a chance to finish the season above .500 if they win both games this week. The Pioneers have two final games in the last week of the regular season before the RSC playoffs begin. 

The Pioneer’s first game of the week was a home win over the Ohio Christian University TrailBlazers on Tuesday, Feb. 9, winning 70-61. Point Park would score the first bucket of the game, and would hold that lead to the finish, even with the Trailblazers’ constantly biting at the heels of their lead. It was a fairly even match between the two sides, with both teams finishing the night with very similar stat lines. Point Park would hit 40% percent of their shots from the field, compared to OCU’s very close 34% percent. 

In a very weird twist for the Pioneers, the TrailBlazers were actually able to out rebound the home squad, just barely squeaking by with 40 boards compared to the Pioneers’ 18. The difference was mostly  thanks to the three different starters on Point Park’s roster putting up double digit points in the game, helping boost the Pioneers over the top in the end. Junior guard Sherron Schifino was dominant on the court, putting up 19 points and bringing down a tied-team high 6 rebounds. Junior forward Tony James was just as effective, bringing down the same amount of rebounds and scoring 16 in the game. Junior guard Jesse Calloway would help dish out passes and put up points, finishing the game with 13 points and a game high 5 assists, mostly in part to hitting all 6 of his free throw attempts. 

The second game of the week was a bit harder for the Pioneers, falling to the WVU Tech Golden Bears on the road on Saturday, Feb. 13, 87-67. The Pioneers struggled in the first half; only scoring 25 points and going into the second half down by 10. The scoring would almost double in the second half, but Point Park was not able to match the Golden Bears, who would put up 52 in the second half alone to put the game away. 

Point Park shot a solid 40% percent from the floor in the game and would bring down 32 rebounds, but the Golden Bears simply bested them in most categories. WVU Tech would hit 49% percent of their shots, even though they shot a harsh 15% percent of their shots from beyond the arc, were able to out rebound the Pioneers with 34 boards. Schifino once again led the Pioneers in scoring, putting up 13 points and swiping a team high 3 steals. Calloway would be right behind Schifino again on the stat sheet, scoring 12 in the loss. 

Point Park now has two more games to play in the final week of regular season play, with match ups against WVU Tech again and fellow RSC rival Rio Grande. The team will face off against the Golden Bears again on Tuesday, Feb. 16 in the Pioneers’ final home game. 

The final game will be a road trip to the University of Rio Grande, where they’ll face off against the Red Storm on Thursday, Feb. 18. The Pioneers should find out where they will be seeded for the playoffs this week on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and will find out when, where, and who they will play that day. Their first playoff game should be played on Monday, Feb. 22, but their opponent and location will not be announced until after publishing.