Taylor Rinn hits 1,215 career points and 999 rebounds to lead the Pioneers to back-to-back road wins

Written By Kayla Sterner, Co-Sports Editor

Senior forward Taylor Rinn scored 27 points and snagged 17 boards to put up a double-double against River States Conference foe St-Mary’s-of-the-Woods (11-8, 3-8 RSC) to lead the Pioneers to a 94-55 victory. Rinn was only 14 rebounds away from becoming Point Park’s (8-12, 5-7) first-ever athlete to snag 1,000 rebounds heading into Saturday’s match against Indiana University Kokomo.

 The Akron, OH native put up another double-double against the Cougars and netted 14 points as well as grabbed 13 rebounds, meaning she only needs one rebound across the next five games to scribe her name in PPU’s history books. 

The Pioneers came out strong against St-Mary’s-of-the-Woods and kept the intensity throughout the entire game. Junior guard Ari Bleda and Rinn combined for 50 points, and Bleda added seven rebounds with four assists. Junior guard Coral Homs netted 15 points along with five rebounds and five assists. Freshman guard Alexis Giles scored 10 of the Pioneer’s 21 bench points.

Point Park was 33-of-65 from the field and 11-for-27 from behind the arc. PPU took advantage of SMWC’s 26 turnovers and turned them into 24 points. Despite the win, the Pioneers still turned the ball over 21 times. Poor ball handles and bad passes have cursed their season. 

The Pioneers had 13 second-chance points from 15 offensive boards and outrebounded St. Mary’s of the Woods 45-26. 

SMWC scored first but quickly lost the lead after back-to-back layups gave PPU a one possession advantage, and St. Mary’s never led again.

Bleda hit a free throw, followed by a triple, then a layup and another three-pointer to cap a 20-8 run which led to a 24-15 lead after the first quarter.

The Pioneers had seven turnovers in the second quarter alone, but netted 15 points to clutch a 13-point advantage (39-26) heading into the break. 

Point Park opened up the second half with a 15-8 run capped by a bucket from behind-the-arc from senior guard Sierra Senata. The Pioneers scored 30 points in the third quarter to assert dominance and lead 69-44 heading into the last quarter of play.

PPU was on fire and SWMC couldn’t control the blaze. The Pioneers scored another 25 points while holding their opponent to a mere 11. Point Park clutched a 40-point lead (92-52) with 2:22 left to play and edged out St. Mary’s 94-55.

The Pioneers kept that same momentum against Indiana University Kokomo (2-19, 2-10) to defeat them 72-57 and win their second game in a row. Before this pair of games, PPU hadn’t won back-to-back games since December 15 and December 20. 

Sophomore guard Emma Pavalek netted 22 points and two rebounds while Bleda added 13 points and Giles scored 12 while Tanner Hoffner looked good underneath the glass, snagging 10 boards.

Point Park got on the board first, but IU Kokomo quickly responded with some hoops of their own to be tied at 18 apiece heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter was a back and forth affair after the Pioneers were 0-of-7 from three and 4-of-19 from the field, but luckily they were 7-of-8 from the charity stripe to lead 33-29 at halftime. 

PPU netted 20 points in the third while their defense held the Cougars to 11. IUK cut the deficit to one (33-32) with 9:17 left in the quarter, but Point Park went on a 12-3 run to lead by 10. The Pioneers held on to their momentum and clutched a 53-40 advantage heading into the last ten minutes of game play.

Point Park pulled away in the fourth quarter to ensure that the Cougars couldn’t make a comeback. The Pioneers led by 17 with less than a minute left and finished the game with a 15 point advantage to edge out IU Kokomo 72-57.

The next game for the Pioneers will be at home versus WVU Tech. Tipoff is set for 5p.m.