Women’s Basketball competes in 3 game road trip

Written By Antonio Rossetti, Co-Sports Editor

The Point Park Pioneers Women’s Basketball team began a three-game road trip, coming off a homestand, in which they won three of four games. The team’s last game was against the St. Mary of the Woods College Pomeroys, where they won, 77-64.

On Jan. 24, Jan. 28, and Jan. 30, the team competed against River States Conference (RSC) opponents who were the Brescia University Bearcats, the Indiana University Southeast Grenadiers (IU Southeast), and the Midway University Eagles.

The Pioneers opened up the road stand with a 10-6 record, along with a 4-4 conference record.

Their first opponent, the Brescia Bearcats, entered the game with a 3-13 record, along with a 2-4 RSC conference record. The Bearcats have lost their last two games of the season.

Point Park’s momentum on offense carried into their game against Brescia. The Pioneers knocked down 50% of their threes and the first half and scored 17 points. However, the Bearcats offense came ready, as they not only matched the Pioneers but would score 23 points in the first quarter.

Brescia shot a perfect 100% from beyond the arc and drilled 70% of their shots from the field. The Bearcats led at the end of one quarter, 23-17.

In the second quarter, the Pioneers’ defense came to life. Point Park mauled the Bearcats, holding them to just 12 points while scoring 19 in the second quarter. They turned the Bearcats 3 times, while also holding them to just 3 of 12 from the field. The team pounded Brescia with a barrage of threes, draining 80% of their three-point attempts in the second quarter. Point Park led at the half, 36-35.

In the third quarter, both teams fought for the lead, but neither could pull away from their opponent. Brescia’s offense shot the ball efficiently, making 62% of their shots in the third. Nevertheless, the Pioneer offense was too much to handle for the Bearcats.

Point Park scored 21 points in the third, going 4 of 6 from three. This effort gave them the lead at the end of the third quarter, 57-53. Point Park’s effort on the glass gave them the edge in the third. Despite the strong performance by Brescia, the Pioneers pulled down 4 offensive rebounds, which gave the team extra possessions.

In the fourth quarter, Point Park turned up their intensity. The Pioneers pummeled the Bearcats in the fourth. The Pioneers went on a 12-1 run to start the fourth, giving them a 15 point lead. After this, Point Park continued ambushing their opponent. The Pioneers outscored the Bearcats 25-12 in the fourth, while also shooting a miraculous 92% from the field in the fourth. The Pioneers won by the final score of 82-65.

The Pioneers shot 55% from the field and shot 59% from three. The team dominated in rebounding, doubling the Bearcats total. The Pioneers tallied 36 rebounds, compared to Brescia’s 18. The Pioneers also grabbed 12 offensive rebounds.

Despite the opposition shooting an astounding 91% from three, the Pioneers’ intensity and tenaciousness on the glass led to an important road victory. The Pioneers were led by senior guard Michelle Burns who scored 22 points, while also tallying 8 rebounds.
The road win for Point Park was crucial in allowing the team even more momentum. For junior Jordan Yaniga, these games are essential heading into playoff season.

“It’s good to have the momentum now, especially because playoffs are around the corner, and we’re still neck and neck with WVU Tech,” said Yaniga. “It’s super important to win on the road, especially during this time to have such a big road trip late in the season. It’s hard to keep pushing towards the end, but having a win on the road is huge.”

The Pioneers traveled 8 hours to continue to compete against Brescia, which gives the team motivation to win. Yaniga said she believes that road trips put more pressure on the team to win.

“It’s like what did we travel for? We did all this, we missed classes,” Yaniga said. “We’re staying awake on the bus to do homework because we’re missing classes, and because we did all that, we really want to like pull out a win.”

Point Park aimed to notch another win at IU Southeast.

The Grenadiers come into the game with a 7-11 record, along with a 3-6 RSC conference record. This was IU Southeast’s first game since Jan. 13, where they defeated Ohio Christian University Trailblazers on the road.

The Grenadiers came out firing, jumping out to a 13-6 lead early in the game. Nonetheless, the Pioneers’ offense picked up where they left off last game. Despite IU Southeast scoring 22 points and shooting 67% from beyond the arc, the Pioneers also scored over 20 points, making 50% of their shots. The Pioneers kept themselves in the game, trailing by just one point, 22-21 at the end of one.

The Pioneers had a slow start to the second quarter. The Grenadiers shot the ball proficiently and eventually took the lead by 7 points, 35-28. However, the Pioneers went on a 10-2 run in the waning minutes of the half and took the lead, 38-37 at the end of two quarters.

In the third quarter, the Pioneers had, arguably, their best quarter of the season. The Pioneers had a sustained attack, shooting 62% from the field and 63% from three.

Point Park also outrebounded the Grenadiers, grabbing 13 compared to the IU Southeast 4 in the third quarter. They also forced 4 turnovers in the third quarter.

The Pioneers walloped IU Southeast, winning the quarter and outscoring them 35-12 in the third. At the end of three, the Pioneers led 73-49.

The Pioneers called off the dogs in the fourth, but the damage to the Grenadiers was done. The Pioneers finished the game, winning by a score of 87-71.

Point Park was dominant once again on the glass, out rebounding the opposition, 42 to 26. They also shot 50% from the field and had 17 points off of turnovers.

The team was led by junior Taylor Rinn, who scored 24 points, while also tallying 15 rebounds. Rinn shot 10-16 from the field and scored 14 points in their monstrous third quarter. Rinn said she was proud that the team fought back against the Grenadiers.

“We were struggling a little bit to kind of get that momentum going,” said Rinn. “We were only up one at halftime, so being able to come out in the second half and help the team pull out the win feels great. Especially after the long bus ride. They can really be a killer.”
Similar to Yaniga, Rinn said she also believes that winning road games late in the season is a key to success.

“Being on the bus is hard. We were on the bus for probably eight and a half hours,” said Rinn. “Usually, we have an hour, or an hour and a half of warmup time to get into the game, so just being able to win makes the whole trip feel worth it.”

In Point Park’s final game of the road trip, the team took on Midway University.
The Eagles come into the game with a 16-6 record, along with an 8-2 RSC conference record.

Point Park struggled to get things going in the first quarter. Both teams went scoreless for the first two minutes, but the Eagles found the score column first after a three-pointer by junior Dezeeree White.

Point Park’s struggles continued as they only made 4 out of 19 shots in the first quarter. On the other hand, Midway went 9 of 21 from the field and forced 10 turnovers in the first quarter. The Eagles led at the end of one, 23-11.

The Eagles offense remained persistent. Midway began the second quarter with an 18-5 run, leading by 25 points, 41-16.

The Pioneers began to hit their shots. Nonetheless, the Eagles matched the Pioneers the majority of the time. Midway scored 31 points in the second quarter, while shooting 60% from three and 63% from the field. Point Park shot the ball better and was more consistent. Nevertheless, they trailed 54-32.

In the third quarter, the Pioneers offense came out of the gates ready, knocking down their first four shots of the quarter. Their success continued throughout the third, making 56% of their shots from the field. Point Park scored 24 points in the third. Despite outscoring Midway 24-23 in the third, Point Park only was down 77-56.

The Pioneers played their best basketball late in the game. The team forced 5 turnovers, while also drilling 57% of their three-pointers.
Midway was up 81-59, but the Pioneers went on a 12-0 running, cutting the lead to 10 points. Midway stopped the run with a two-pointer from White, but Burns made a three-pointer, the team cut the lead to under 10 for the first time since the first quarter. However, Midway made a few more baskets and pulled away, winning the game 91-76.

The Pioneers went 2-1 on their road trip and remain in the RSC playoff picture with a 13-7 record, along with a 6-5 conference record.

The Pioneers return home against the Ohio Christian University Trailblazers on Feb. 5.