Men’s Basketball comes up short against Rio Grande, handle Carlow with ease

Team now 7-3, 2-2 in RSC, stand in third place of RSC East division

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team split their two games against River State Conference (RSC) rivals, with a home loss on Tuesday, November 29th to the University of Rio Grande 72-76, and a dominating win against cross city rival Carlow University on Saturday, December 3, 80-42. 

The split now leaves the team at a 7-3 record, good enough for third in the RSC East division behind Rio Grande and Alice Lloyd. The team will look to continue their homestand later this week. 

The final game of November for the Pioneers was a tough matchup against the first placed team in the RSC in the Rio Grande Red Storm. The first half was a closely contested affair between the two sides, with the visiting Red Storm scoring the opening bucket and holding a small lead over the Pioneers in a bucket-for-bucket game that saw Rio Grande only get ahead by six points. It wouldn’t be until the final five minutes of the first half before Point Park found their first lead of the game, cashing in on back to back scores to put them ahead by three before the Red Storm responded to tie then take a two point lead.

The final three minutes would continue to be a back and forth match up, before the Pioneers were able to take the smallest of leads to go into the second half up 33-32. 

The second half stayed much like the first, with neither team being able to jump out to anything more than five points. With 15 minutes remaining, Rio Grande would retake the lead once again. The Pioneers would tie the game twice, but were never able to retake the lead after the seven minute mark. The Red Storm were able to hold on till the final buzzer, walking away with a close victory at 76-72. 

Sophomore forward Jo Valrie would play the full 40 minutes, and made every second count, putting up a 20 point double-double, with 17 rebounds and a steal to his name. Senior guard Cyrie Coates would put up 17 points while shooting 50 percent from the field, including six rebounds.

Point Park would shoot 39 percent from the field, the exact same as the Red Storm, but the Pioneers would only shoot a mediocre 20 percent from beyond the arc, compared to Rio Grande’s 40 percent. The Red Storm outrebounded the Pioneers as well, pulling down 48 boards compared to Point Park’s 41. 

The Pioneers first game of December started off with a bang, with a cross town rivalry match up against the Carlow University Celtics. It was also Point Park from tip-off, scoring the first bucket of the game and never looking back. The Pioneers would go on a 16-2 run in the first five minutes of play, and continued to dominate the first half, ending it with a 40-19 lead at the first buzzer.

The second half was just as dominating, with the Pioneers smothering the Celtics shooting, allowing only eight buckets on 34 shots in a dominating offensive and defensive showing. Ending the game on a 17-2 run, the Pioneers walked away with the 80-42 victory in their biggest win of the season.

Coates would lead the team in points in the contest, putting up a game high 18 points and five assists in only 16 minutes of play. Sophomore forward Jordan Stowe would dominate the boards, collecting 16 rebounds and putting up 17 points as well as swiping two steals.

Point Park would shoot an outstanding 46 percent from the field, while also knocking down 37 percent of their shots from downtown in a much needed bounce back game. The defense was also prevalent, keeping the Celtics to only 26 percent of their shots, and did not allow a single three pointer to Carlow. The Pioneers outrebounded their cross town rivals, picking up 56 boards to the Celtics’ 37, while doubling the offensive rebounds, with 20 for Point Park and 10 for Carlow.

The Pioneers will look to continue their December play with a continued home stand, playing Penn State-Greater Allehgany at home on Wednesday, December 7. The team will then continue its RSC play with another home match up, this time against Ohio Christian University on Saturday, December 10.

Both games will be played at CCAC-Alleghany’s home court, and each game will also be streamed on the Point Park Athletics website. Any schedule updates will also be made on the Athletics website on future games.