Pioneers cruise to victory at Carlow, improve to 3-0 in AMC
Dec. 10, 2009
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University women's basketball team improved to 3-0 in the American Mideast Conference by cruising to a 65-44 victory at Carlow Thursday night.
The Pioneers (6-2 overall, 3-0 AMC) led by 15 at halftime and forced 35 turnovers on their way to winning for the fourth time in a row. Point Park has won six of its last seven games, and it has established the second-best start in school history after eight games.
Point Park had never been 3-0 in the AMC prior to this year. The Pioneers opened conference play with a 73-64 win over Wilbeforce (2-8, 0-3) Dec. 1, and they followed that up with a 70-65 win at Houghton (6-1, 1-1) Saturday after erasing a 10-point lead the last five minutes.
Point Park started 7-1 in the 1980-81 season, which is slightly better than Point Park's 6-2 start this year.
The Pioneers built a 29-13 lead in the first half, and went on to lead, 38-23 at the break as sophomore forward Kristen Veseleny (Pleasant Hills/Thomas Jefferson) scored all of her 11 points the first 20 minutes.
After forcing 16 turnovers in the first half, Point Park forced 19 more after halftime. The Pioneers were ahead, 47-30, with 12:00 remaining, and they had a 57-41 lead late in the half.
Point Park junior guard Ashley Henderson (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic) had a team-high 14 points, and teammate April Austin (Penn Hills/North Catholic) added 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting from long range. Henderson is pictured left.
Henderson led the Pioneers with seven rebounds and also tied for the team lead with four assists. Austin chipped in six rebounds and four assists, and Point Park had 20 assists on 21 field goals.
Senior guard/forward Brittney Wilson (West Mifflin/West Mifflin) contributed five points and four assists.
Point Park shot 36 percent from the floor, but shot 58 percent (10 of 17) from 3-point range. The Pioneers entered Thursday's game ranking fourth in NAIA Division II in 3-point field goal percentage at 41 percent, and they were fifth in the nation in treys per game at 8.9. With Thursday's hot shooting from long range, the Pioneers are connecting on 42.9 percent of their treys for an average of 9.0 3-pointers per game.
The Pioneers shot 47 percent (13 of 28) the first half, but they dipped to 27 percent (8 of 30) the second half. Point Park survived a 13 of 29 performance from the free-throw line.
On the season, Point Park is shooting 54 percent from the foul line, and the main reason why it isn't currently on a seven-game winning streak is the 16-for-37 performance from the foul line in a loss at Geneva. Poor foul shooting in the game led to the Pioneers' most recent loss, which was on Nov. 21.
Carlow (5-7, 1-3) was held to 31-percent shooting and was led in scoring by Sarah McAteer with 18 points.
The Celtics were 0-26 last year, but they were just one game under .500 before Thursday's game. Carlow has lost three AMC games in a row.
Point Park will look to continue the momentum Saturday by hosting Roberts Wesleyan for an AMC game. Tipoff at CCAC-South Gymnasium is 2 p.m. Roberts Wesleyan (7-4 , 3-1) won its first three conference games, but the Raiders suffered a 70-50 set back Wednesday night versus Houghton.
NOTES: With Thursday's victory, Point Park's fourth-year coach Sam Kosanovich moved into second place on the school's all-time victory list. Kosanovich, who is 17-16 the last two years, got his 31st win at Point Park Thursday. That total is one better than Luke Ruppel, who was 30-21 in two years from 1984-86. Ed Meena, who is currently an assistant coach on the Point Park women's staff, is the school's all-time leader in wins with 81 from 1993-02.