Men’s basketball falls in first conference games on the season

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team have had a tough stretch over their last three games. With back to back losses to River States Conference (RSC) rival’s WVU Tech Golden Bears on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 82-60 and the University of Rio Grande Red Storm on Saturday, Nov. 20, 67-66, the Pioneers fell to 2-3 on the young season, as well as 0-2 in RSC play. A cancellation of what was supposed to be their latest game on Saturday, Nov. 27 left the team with two more games in the month of November.

Game one against WVU was a home match up for the Pioneers but not on their usual homecourt. Point Park would take on the WVU Tech Golden Bears at Duquesne’s UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse. The first 10 minutes of the first half was a back and forth contest, with the Golden Bears taking an early three point lead off of free throws before back-to-back lay ups by Point Park brought them out in front in the first minute and a half of the contest. The game would be a continued fight up until the final nine minutes of the half, with neither team leading by more than three until WVU Tech started getting into a groove. The Golden Bears took a 40-28 lead into the second half and continued their scoring ways from there, leading by as much as 24 as the final buzzer sounded with the score reading as 82-60 in favor of the on-the-road team.

Point Park would shoot a respectable 40% from the floor but struggled heavily from beyond the arc with a miserable 16%. The Golden Bears would shoot an incredible 50 percent from the floor and 44% from downtown. The Pioneers would outrebound the Golden Bears, with 42 boards compared to WVU Tech’s 36 but would give up 18 turnovers and have zero blocked shots in the process. Senior guard Sherron Schifino put up 15 points and a team leading 6 rebounds, which were all defensive boards. Junior guard Eddie Flohr was right behind him with 12 points, putting up 10 in the first half, while senior forward Adam Scott was the main bench scorer with 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Game two was a heartbreaker for the Pioneers, falling on the road to the Rio Grande Red Storm in Rio Grande, Ohio. Rio Grande would get the first point of the game and would keep the lead throughout most of the first half, with Point Park nipping at the Red Storm’s heels and keeping it tied or within 10 points all the way till the end of the first half, with the score of 37-29. Rio Grande would continue to hold on to their lead as the second half ran down, but the Pioneers would put together a string of baskets with a little under 9 minutes to go, thanks in part to three straight baskets by Adam Scott to go from down by four, to up by four with two minutes remaining. Baskets and free throws would be exchanged down the stretch, but, with two seconds left in the game, Rio Grande was able to nail a three to put the Red Storm up by one, and Point Park wasn’t able to respond, ending the game at 66-67.

Point Park overall had an outstanding shooting game, hitting on 51% of their shots, while draining 50% of their treys as well. On the other end, Rio Grande was able to slip away with a mediocre 31% from the field, while hitting on 29% of their threes. The Red Storm would out-board the Pioneers 38 to 34, and Point Park’s 15 turnovers and 0 blocks were once again prevalent on the box scores. Scott would come away with a double-double in the match up, putting up 20 points and bringing down a game high 11 boards while dishing out 4 assists. Schifino would once again generate plenty of offense for the Pioneers as well, putting up 19 points while shooting 50% from the field.

With the cancellation of the teams most recent game against Lawrence Technological University, the Pioneers had a busy week ahead of them, starting with their road trip to New York to play NCAA Division I University of Buffalo on Monday, Nov. 29. The team then traveled down to Kent State for another DI matchup against the Golden Flashes in the team’s final NCAA opponent match up on Tuesday. There will be another road trip further west on Thursday, Dec. 2, with an away game against RSC rival Indiana University East for their final game of the week. Each game had and will be starting at or around 7 p.m., and each game had and will have its own form of streaming coverage from the home team.