Point Park's playoff hopes end with loss at Roberts, Pioneers finish with 14-13 record
Feb. 20, 2010
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Point Park University women's basketball team had its American Mideast Conference playoff hopes come to an end with Saturday afternoon's 67-62 loss at Roberts Wesleyan.
The Pioneers finished the season at 14-13 overall and 10-9 in the AMC. Point Park needed to win Saturday to keep its postseason hopes alive on a busy final day of the regular season. A victory would not have guaranteed an AMC tournament bid, but it would have at least given the Pioneers a chance.
Despite missing the playoffs, Point Park posted its first winning season in 16 years. The last time the Pioneers finished above .500 was in 1993-94 when they were 19-12.
Point Park was trying to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1998-99 season. The 10 AMC victories established a team high since joining the league 11 years ago.
Roberts Wesleyan was able to play spoiler and finish the season 14-16 overall and 8-11 in the AMC. The Pioneers and Raiders split the season series with Point Park winning 71-46 at home Jan. 18.
The Pioneers entered the day in a three-way tie for the seventh-and-final playoff spot with Northwestern Ohio and Notre Dame (OH). And by the way things turned out, Point Park would have made the playoffs if they would have beaten Roberts Weselayn.
Notre Dame earned itself a playoff spot with its 102-97, overtime win at NAIA Division II No. 23 Walsh Saturday. The Falcons finished in sixth place in the AMC at 11-8.
Northwestern Ohio fell out of the race by being upset by lowly Wilberforce, 76-73 to drop to 10-9. Houghton will get the final playoff spot despite a 64-59 home loss to Daemen. The Highlanders finished 11-8.
Had Point Park finished 11-8, it would have gotten the No. 6 seed with Notre Dame being seventh.
Point Park's season ended with two tough road losses in three days. The Pioneers were outlasted at Daemen, 64-59, Thursday.
Sophomore forward Terrica Jones (West Mifflin/West Mifflin) led the Pioneers on Saturday with a season-high 16 points, and she tied a career high with 14 rebounds.
The 5-10 Jones (pictured above) hit a pair of free throws to tie the score at 60-60 with 2:33 remaining. But Roberts Wesleyan ended the game on a 7-2 run behind the strong play of forward Brittany McMillon.
McMillon accounted for all of the Raiders' points the last two minutes, the first of which gave her team a 63-60 lead on a 3-point play the hard way.
Ashley Henderson (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic) hit two free throws to pull the Pioneers within, 63-62, but McMillon nailed a pair of foul shots on the other end to bump the lead back to three points, 65-62.
Point Park's next two possessions ended with a missed 3-pointer, and the Pioneers were still down 65-62 when Roberts Wesleyan took possession with 19 seconds left.
On the ensuing inbounds play, McMillon got free for a layup to put the game out of reach, 67-62. McMillon finished with 23 points in just 22 minutes, and she scored 20 points the second half.
Heather Swedish (Sewickley/Avonworth) was the only other Point Park player besides Jones in double figures with a season-high 14 points. The junior guard was 6 of 12 from the field and nailed a pair of 3-pointers.
Point Park shot 36 percent (25 of 70) from the field and struggled from 3-point range with a 4-for-28 performance from beyond the arc. The Pioneers made 8 of 10 free throws.
Roberts Wesleyan shot 51 percent (26 of 51) and made 12 of 18 foul shots. The Raiders survived 23 turnovers compared to just 12 for Point Park. Roberts Wesleyan held a 41-35 edge on the boards.
Roberts Wesleyan's Marissa Bunce scored all 14 of her points in the first half to give her team a 33-31 lead at the break. Sarah Child added 12 points and 10 rebounds off Roberts the bench.
Roberts Wesleyan got off to a quick start and led, 7-2, after two and a half minutes. The Raiders went on to lead 16-7 at the 15:04 mark, but in what was a game of runs, Point Park used a 15-5 spurt to take a 22-21 lead on Jones' layin with 8:48 left in the half.
Roberts Weseleyan went ahead, 31-26, after an 8-0 run late in the half. After leading 33-31 at the break, the Raiders rattled off an 8-2 run the first two minutes of the second half. McMillon's inside basket gave the hosts a 41-33 advantage.
Then Point Park mounted the biggest run of the game, a 20-5 spurt that allowed the Pioneers to take a 53-46 lead with 8:35 left. Point Park finished off the rally with a 3-pointer from Swedish and a putback and a free throw from Jones.
Point Park still led by seven, 55-48, with 7:10 on the clock. But on its next two possessions, Roberts got a 3-pointer from Kelly Grinnell and a 3-point play by Child to pull within 55-54.
Then McMillon's steal and layup put Roberts Wesleyan ahead, 56-55, and Point Park would not lead again.
A pair of free throws by Lindsey Beckwith extended the Raiders' lead to 58-55, but Swedish banked home a jumper to cut it back to a one-point game.
McMillon rebuilt the three-point lead with an inside basket, and Jones hit a free throw on the other end to make it 60-58. Jones went to the line again on Point Park's next trip and sank both shots to knot the score at 60-60 with 2:33 remaining.
McMillon followed by scoring the Raiders final seven points to give Roberts the win.