Men’s Basketball win massive RSC match ups with three games remaining on regular season

Men’s team reach 20 win plateau for first time since 2006-07 season


Photo by Antonio Bastolla

Junior guard Jaylen Stamps (right) and Sophomore guard Nate Van (left) celebrate on their way to a massive win over RSC rival Alice Lloyd.

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team (20-5, 11-3 RSC) built on their win streak in their return home and defeated RSC rival WVU Tech (12-12, 7-7 RSC) and Alice Lloyd College (12-12, 6-8 RSC). Thanks to the back-to-back wins, the Pioneers clinched a top two spot in the River State Conference east division but they are still two games behind the first place team, the University of Rio Grande (19-5, 12-1 RSC). 

Game one saw Point Park take on the WVU Tech Golden Bears —a team that stole away a win when Point Park visited them in November. Seeking revenge, PPU hit the first bucket of the game and held onto a small lead for the entirety of the first half. 

The Pioneers tried to break away but only managed a seven point lead, as the Golden Bears fought back and kept the game within reach. The final minute of the first half saw neither team score a single point and Point Park clutched a 37-33 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play.

The second half was a continued battle with the two sides trading buckets in the first four minutes before WVU Tech claimed a one point lead. This was the first time PPU let go of the lead, and it was with 16 minutes remaining. 

Point Park pressed the pedal to the floor and turned around and took the lead back. The Pioneers finally jumped out to a double digit advantage with five minutes remaining and held that lead for the rest of the contest to edge out the Golden Bears, 77-68. 

Junior forward Jalen Stamps exploded offensively for the Pioneers and put up 31 points and swiped four steals. Sophomore forward Jo Valire would follow suit to net 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in a solid showing on both ends of the floor. Sophomore center Jags Jhawar quietly dominate in the paint once again to collect a  game high 10 rebounds and four blocks in the winning effort. 

Point Park shot 26-of-68 (38 percent) from the field, and knocked down nearly half   (10-of-21) of their three pointers. The Golden Bears outshot the Pioneers overall and hit on 28-of-69 (40 percent) of their shots from the floor, but only hit 6-of-19 (31 percent) of their shots from downtown. The green and gold dominated the boards, with 49 rebounds in comparison to the visitor’s 40, which helped pave the way to 17 second chance points for the Pioneers. 

Game two was another grudge match for Point Park, as the Alice Lloyd Eagles stole a game from them back in November in a similar fashion as WVU Tech. 

The Eagles took the lead early and Point Park did not score until two minutes into the game, but turned the tables quickly. After being down five in the first two minutes the Pioneers jumped ahead by six with 12 minutes remaining. The two sides continued to fight but the green and gold held onto the lead. The final five minutes belonged to the Pioneers after an 11-4 run helped propel their lead to 10 as the first half buzzer sounded, the score at 37-27. 

The second half played a lot like the first, with the two sides battling bucket for bucket, but the Pioneers continued to hold onto their lead. After only being able to extend out to an 11 point lead with eight minutes remaining, the Eagles fought to keep the game within arms reach. Alice Lloyd found their opportunity with a minute and a half to go and scored five straight to bring the game within three. With one second remaining and only two points the difference, junior forward Jordan Stowe knocked down his two free throw attempts to seal the 72-68 victory.

Stamps led the team in scoring once again and netted 17 points and nailed all three of his three pointers. Valrie followed up with 16 points of his own and snatched 12 rebounds for yet another double-double. Senior guards Cyrie Coates and Sherron Schifino put up 13 and 10 points respectively, while Jhawar dominated the paint with 11 boards and three blocks. 

The Pioneers were out shot for the second time in the week, but still came away victorious and hit on 26-of-71 (36 percent) from the field but only nailed 5-of-18 (27 percent) of their shots from beyond the arc. The Eagles made 27-of-67 (40 percent) of their shots from the field but hit a mere 4-of-15 (26 percent) of their triples. The rebounds were in favor of PPU once again as they dragged down 46 boards to Alice Lloyd’s 41, including 19 offensive rebounds. 

The action continues this week for the men’s team with a road matchup on February 7  against RSC rival, the University of Rio Grande, who currently holds first in the division. Senior day will come shortly after, with cross city rival, Carlow University (1-25, 0-14 RSC), visiting on February 11. 

The final game of the regular season will be another road matchup against Ohio Christian University (9-13, 5-8 RSC) on February 18. Games are streamable through the Point Park Athletics website, alongside any schedule changes that may occur.