Women’s basketball find win over Carlow on senior night after three conference losses in a row

Team celebrates five graduating seniors in victory over cross city rival Celtics

Written By Kayla Sterner, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park women’s basketball lost their third River States Conference match in a row against No. 13-ranked University of Rio Grande (22-3, 13-1 RSC) after they were outscored 108-73 on the road.

Freshman guard Alexis Giles netted 18 points with two assists and two boards. Senior guard Sierra Senata dropped 18 points with two rebounds. Senior guard Taylor Rinn added 11 points and nine boards while junior guard Ari Bleda scored 16 points along with seven rebounds. 

Missed shots and turnovers have plagued the Pioneers all season. Point Park shot a dangerously low 27-of-79 from the field and only made 9-of-28 of their three pointers. The team only had eight assists but had 18 turnovers that turned into 20 points for the Hurricanes. 

Rio Grande, on the other hand, shot 44-of-87 from the field and snagged 57 boards compared to PPU’s 37. The Hurricanes had 28 total assists, which goes to show how effectively passing the ball around can win games.

The Pioneers had four bench points while Rio Grande’s bench netted 37 points and dropped 60 points in the paint. Point Park scored half (30) as much in the paint. 

Point Park trailed 6-0 until Giles netted a pair of free throws with 7:52 in the first quarter. A triple from Coral Homs with 6:32 left to play tied the game at 10 apiece. Rinn made a layup to grab a 14-12 lead, but a foul from Senata sent the Hurricanes to the charity stripe and they tied it back up at 14 apiece. 

The teams continued to trade buckets until the Hurricanes grabbed a 25-20 lead with 1:35 to play in the first. A jump shot from Bleda followed by a layup from her cut the deficit to one. The Pioneers trailed 25-24 heading into the second quarter.

Senata nailed a three to grab a 27-25 lead, but Rio Grande quickly scored to tie it at 27 apiece, then take a 29-27 advantage with 7:45 until the half. Giles netted a free throw to tie the game, again, 30-30. Rinn made a layup to lead 32-30 before the Hurricanes tied the game at 32-32. 

Neither team scored for nearly three minutes until Rio Grande broke the ice with a layup to lead 34-32 with 3:33 until the break. After a 6-4 run, the Hurricanes led 40-36 at halftime.

Although they had a great start, the Pioneers were not able to keep their momentum going into the second half. Point Park scored 22 points in the third quarter compared to the home team’s 39. The University of Rio Grande went on a 25-6 run with 5:15 left to play to lead 65-44.  The Pioneers were not able to keep the game in arms reach and trailed 79-58 heading into the last quarter.

Point Park scored 15 points in the final quarter while their opponent scored 29 to win the game 108-73.


The Pioneers (9-15, 6-10 RSC) were able to regroup and pull out a 93-65 win against Carlow University (5-20, 1-15 RSC) on senior day. Point Park honored six seniors: Sierra Senata, Jordan O’Malley, Tanner Hoffner and Jordan Yaniga.

Everyone in the starting five scored in double figures. Senata led all scorers with a career-high 27 points and added three assists, two steals and four rebounds. 

Pavalek added 19 points along with five assists and three rebounds. Rinn snagged 13 boards and two steals and scored 16 points to sneak into the women’s basketball all-time scoring list. The Akron, OH native is ranked ninth in Point Park history with 1,253 points to pass April Austin (1,252) and Sam Weir (1,245).

 Giles and Bleda added 14 points apiece and Bleda grabbed 15 rebounds. Yaniga had two rebounds, two assists, one steal and scored three points — the only bench points for PPU.

PPU started strong and kept that momentum throughout the entirety of the game. Pavalek netted a layup to start the match and the Pioneers followed with a 16-2 run. The Celtics went on a 10-5 run to cut the deficit to nine with 2:32 to play, but a triple from Giles followed by a jumper from Pavalek gave the home team a 26-14 lead after the first quarter. 

The Pioneers allowed 21 points in the second quarter and netted 22 of their own to lead 48-35 at the half. Senata, Bleda and Giles each made a triple while the rest of the spread was covered by layups and a couple of free throws. 

Point Park was held to 11 points in the third while Carlow scored 19. The Celtics were almost able to make a comeback as they cut the deficit to five (59-54) heading into the last quarter.  The Pioneers offense was commanding all fourth quarter. Senata nailed a jumper to grab a 12 point advantage (74-63) with 6:06 to go. 

Carlow was unable to rally back as PPU started to find the net on nearly every possession and walk away with a 93-65 victory. 

Point Park was 36-of-75 from the field (47%) and 12-of-31 from behind the arc (38.7%) but only netted half of their free throws (9-of-18). The girls in green had 53 boards compared to the Celtics 45. 

The Pioneers turned the ball over 13 times to give up 15 points. Point Park scored 17 points off of 14 turnovers and scored 17 second chance points from 14 offensive boards. 

Point Park’s next game is on the road on Feb. 18 against Ohio Christian. PPU currently holds a half game advantage over Ohio Christian (5-10 RSC) for fourth place in the RSC East division. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.