Women’s basketball splits the weekend 1-1, falls to 6-11

Now 3-6 in the River State Conference ahead of roadtrip

Written By Kayla Sterner, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park started the weekend off with a tough loss to RV Oakland City (13-3, 8-0), who are undefeated in the River State Conference and “receiving votes” for the NAIA Top 25 poll. The Pioneers (5-11, 2-6 RSC) outscored the Mighty Oaks 46-43 in the second half, but could not muster up a comeback.

Despite the loss, senior forward Taylor Rinn tacked on 13 boards to tie for second-most rebounds in Pioneer history with 929. The Akron, OH native added eight points. Leading all scorers was junior guard Ari Bleda with 19 points, three steals and four defensive rebounds. 

Sophomore guard Emma Pavalek contributed 17 points and four boards while junior guard Coral Homs also scored double-figures, nailing 10 points, six rebounds, five steals and two assists. 

Senior guard Sierra Senata had seven points and two assists in her first game back since she suffered a broken nose. 

The Pioneers had 25 turnovers which manifested into 28 points for the Mighty Oaks. PPU had only eight steals compared to Oakland City’s 19, and had only 12 bench points compared to the visitor’s 24.

Point Park shot a low 23-of-63 from the field and 5-of-15 from downtown, but shot 20-of-29 from the charity stripe.

The Pioneers were outscored 27-18 in the first quarter after the Mighty Oaks went on an 8-0 run to start the game. Rinn scored a pair of free throws and a layup to give PPU their first points of the night. 

Pavalek scored five of the Pioneer’s seven points in the second quarter. The Beaver. PA native capped the first half with a layup but it was not enough as PPU trailed 42-25 at the half.

The Pioneers continued to miss shots they needed to make and turned the ball over seven times in the third period to trail by 19 (69-50) heading into the last ten minutes of play. 

Although Point Park outscored Oakland City 21-16 in the last quarter, they were too far behind to make a comeback and Point Park lost 85-71 at-home.

However, Coach Dave Scarborough and Co. were able to boast a 71-52 win against Brescia (1-16, 1-8 RSC) on Saturday. The Pioneers went on a 24-0 run in the final four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes after the break to power through to victory despite trailing by five with 4:33 left to go in the second period.

Pavalek netted a game-high 30 points along with five rebounds and three steals. Rinn snagged 24 boards and added 12 points to clutch sole possession of second-most career rebounds in Pioneer history with 953. She is only 11 rebounds away from tying the current record (964) that was set by Angie Dawson in 1989. 

Back-to-back layups from Pavalek sparked Point Park’s dominant run that ultimately led to victory. Another layup from Pavalek capped the run to give the Pioneers a 44-25 advantage with 6:26 to go in the third quarter.

A pair of free throws from Pavalek, who is Point Park’s first athlete to sign an NIL deal, gave PPU a 23-point advantage with just under 10 minutes left in the game — their largest lead of the night. The Pioneers offense stayed hot and the defense stayed strong to pull out the win.

Despite the victory, PPU only shot 36.8% from the field and had 21 turnovers along with a concerning zero bench points. The Pioneers only sank three triples and were shaky from the free throw line, netting 18-of-33 attempts. 

PPU took advantage of the Bearcats 31 turnovers to score 30 points and scored 12 second chance points off of 18 offensive rebounds.

The Pioneers next game is Jan. 21 at Indiana University East to start a three-game stretch on the road. Tipoff is set for 1p.m.