Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Men’s Basketball on pace to compete in Nationals

This Point Park men’s basketball team is special and different from others. They are a resilient group, and they continue to find different ways of winning, making them a juggernaut to go against.

The team has been the talk around campus, as they most recently made the news on WTAE-TV Pittsburgh. Their spectacular season is catching the attention around the Pittsburgh area, and rightfully so.

Starting combo-guard Nate Van attempting a jumpshot in the team’s victory against Northwestern.

Heading into Saturday’s game against Indiana East, the Pioneers cracked the 18th spot on the official NAIA Top 25 Poll. This would be the first time that Point Park has made it into the Top 25 for the NAIA Hoops Report. The two biggest standouts from this Pioneer basketball team is their offense, led by the dominating Jo Valrie and Jalen Stamps, who are both averaging over 20 points. These two players are a huge reason why the Pioneers have the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the country at 91.5 ppg. The other standout is the team’s performance inside the paint, where the boys are rebounding the basketball at an exceptional rate. The Pioneers are the number one team in the nation for all rebounding categories.

Before getting into this nail-biter of a game from Saturday, it must be noted that Jo Valrie took home the River States Conference (RSC) player of the week. He averaged 27.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting over 50 percent in two games against Oakland City and Brescia. 

The energy and intensity was there on Saturday, where the 17-1 Pioneers faced off against a 6-11 Indiana East. The Pioneers are currently 7-1 in conference play while Indiana East is 2-5. The Pioneers were the favorites heading into this matchup, but the Red Wolves put up a hard fight.

Led by number 11, Colt Meyer, the Red Wolves were only down 4 at the end of the first half. As the second half got underway, the Pioneers started to dominate play and went up 55-45 with 14 minutes to go. A hungry Red Wolves team would not go away easily. They clawed back and made it a two point game thanks to Antuane Allen. With 7 minutes to go, the score was 67-65 Pioneers. Point Park refused to give up the small lead, which was contributed by Jalen Stamps who played all 40 minutes, finishing with 32 points.

With two minutes left, it was a one-point game with the Pioneers up 82-81. It’s these situations  where the big time players make big time plays, and with ice in his veins, Jo Valrie made a clutch three-point shot to take a four-point lead. It would not be the dagger completely ending the Red Wolves’ hopes for a comeback, though, as the Pioneers struggled to make a free throw and went one-for-five at the line.

The defense stepped up when it needed to stop the Red Wolves final five shot attempts from the field. They would win the game at the buzzer with a final score of 86-83 and improve to an 18-1 record on the year.

This upcoming week, the Pioneers basketball team will play St. Mary-Woods, who sits atop the west side of the RSC with a 14-4 record, and IU Kokomo, who also has a 14-4 record with all 4 losses coming in conference play. Both games are at home with Thursday’s game starting at 7:00 PM against St. Mary-Woods, then onto Saturday’s match.

Backup center Nazareth Fisher scoring with a powerful slam dunk.
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