Men’s basketball starts home stand with back to back loses

Pioneers now sit at 7-8 on the season (3-5 in River State Conference play), fourth place in division with month left in regular season

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team started off their four-game January home stand last Thursday, falling to both Bryant & Stratton-Buffalo on January 13, 79-69, and River State Conference (RSC) rival Alice Lloyd College on Saturday, Jan. 15, 94-84. The two losses officially drop the Pioneers to 7-8 on the season and 3-5 in RSC play. Point Park still stands in fourth place in their division, sitting at only four and a half games out of first place, and a game behind third place Indiana University East.

Game one took place at Point Park’s own home court in the Student Center against the Bobcats on Thursday, where Point Park was left with a short bench in the match up. The Bobcats would come out firing to start the game, hitting a three to start and never looking back as they led the entirety of the first half. Going up by as much as 15 late in the first half, the Pioneers would stage a small comeback in the final minutes to bring the score to 38-29 as the first half buzzer sounded. The second half would be an absolute slugfest between the two teams, with each side going on streaks of scoring multiple buckets in a row, with Point Park starting to pull closer and closer with a three point deficit with 11 minutes to go. Sadly, that would be as close as the Bobcats would allow them, breaking away again and ending the game with the score at 94-84, after 40 point efforts from both sides in the second half.

Point Park would struggle in their shooting percentages, hitting on 39% of their shots from the floor, but only 18% from beyond the arc, while only making 2 of 17 shots from downtown to start the first half. The Bobcats would shoot 45% from the field, but only hit on 22% of their three pointers as well. The difference stood at the free throw line, with Point Park only making 55% of their shots from the charity stripe in comparison to Bryant & Stratton’s 81%. Junior guard Eddie Flohr led the Pioneers in scoring with 16, while also picking up a game high six steals in the effort. Sophomore guard Nate Van would come off the bench with 14 points and seven rebounds in the match as well.

Game two was a similar story for the Pioneers as they fell to the Alice Llyod Eagles on Saturday, with the game this time taking place at the Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) Dome. The first half was a back and forth exchange, with Point Park scoring first before Alice Lloyd would go on a tear to put them ahead. The Eagles would go out by as much as 13 half way through the first half, before the Pioneers would bring it back to a tie and then a 2 point lead, before the Eagles would score back-to-back buckets in the final minute to put them ahead 33-31. The second half was similar to Thursday’s game, with an absolutely offensive slugfest between the two sides, with Point Park putting up 53 alone in the second half and Alice Lloyd dropping 63. The Pioneers hit two early buckets to put them ahead by one to start the second half, but that would be the final lead the home team would have, as the Eagles would go on an absolute tear, having two instances of scoring five straight buckets before Point Park could respond. The Eagles led by over 20 half way through the second half before a late comeback brought the game within 10 as the final buzzer sounded, the score ending at 94-84 Alice Lloyd.

In an offensive extravaganza, Point Park actually shot a solid 45% from the field, while hitting on 31% of their shots from three, and making up for last game with 79 of their free throws falling for them. Alice Lloyd outshot the Pioneers though, hitting on 48% of their shots while banking on their 38% three point percentage. Senior guard Sherron Schifino would be back to getting buckets against the Eagles, dropping 22 points and five rebounds in the contest. Van and Flohr were right behind him with 17 and 14 respectively, with Flohr also picking up four assists and two steals in the match up.

Point Park will look to bounce back from a three game slide with another home game on Thursday, Jan. 20, where they’ll take on RSC cross division rival Indiana University Kokomo. They’ll then stay in town for another home matchup against new RSC member, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, on Saturday, Jan. 22. The home court for both matches has yet to be announced as of publication. Both games will be streamable through the Point Park Athletics website, as well as info on future games.