Point Park beats Asbury (Ky.) in KIAC Finals, qualifies for national tourney again
Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:30 p.m. ET
2012-13 KIAC Women's Basketball Tournament champions Point Park University poses with its championship trophy. Photo by IU Southeast athletics.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- The Pioneers are going back to Sioux City for the national tournament!
No. 1 seed Point Park University (25-6, 11-4 KIAC) defeated No. 3 Asbury (Ky.) (23-10, 10-5), 67-58, on Tuesday night in the KIAC Women's Basketball Tournament Finals to earn the conference's automatic bid to the NAIA Division II National Championship March 6-12 in Sioux City, Iowa.
It is the second year in a row that the Pioneers have qualified for the national tournament after making it there for the first time last season. It is also the second straight conference title for KIAC newcomer Point Park, which won the championship in the now-defunct American Mideast Conference a year ago.
Point Park will learn of its national tournament pairing when the 32-team bracket is announced on Wednesday (Feb. 27) on the NAIA National Championship Selection show via the NAIA's Facebook page. The selection show will air at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET).
Sophomore forward Ja'Nia McPhatter posted a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead four Point Park players in double figures in the victory.
Junior guard/forward Teresa Davis had several big baskets on her way to 16 points and eight rebounds, and junior guard/forward Katresa Savisky delivered every time the Pioneers needed a hoop in the second half to finish with 12 points and seven boards.
Senior Emily Schartner totaled 11 points and helped put the game away with a 6 for-9 performance at the foul line. Senior point guard April Austin had a team-high 12 rebounds to go along with eight points.
Guard Trenia Barbee, the second-leading scorer in NAIA DII at 24.7 ppg, had a huge game with 30 points and 16 rebounds for Asbury. But Barbee didn't get a lot help as the Point Park defense held down her opponents for the most part.
Point Park held Asbury, the fourth-highest scoring team in the country at 82.8 ppg, to 28-percent shooting and 25 points below its scoring average. Aside from Barbee shooting 40 percent (10 for 25), the rest of the Eagles were 11 for 50 (22 percent) from the floor. Asbury made 21 of 75 field goals on the night.
Point Park held a 27-23 halftime lead after limiting high-scoring Asbury to just 24-percent shooting the first 20 minutes. The Pioneers continued their defense after the intermission, and they got the offense going as well.
After the teams traded some baskets, Davis hit from the outside for a 40-33 lead with 15:02 left to help the Pioneers begin to pull away. Davis, a Vermilion, Ohio, native made 4 of 6 treys, and Point Park was 6 for 19 from deep for 37.5 percent.
Savisky got a tough offensive rebound and a putback for a 42-33 lead, and moments later, the Pioneers had their biggest lead of the night, 47-35, on yet another 3-pointer by Davis with just under 13:00 to play.
But Asbury made its move and got the deficit down to 48-45 on Barbee's layup with 7:58 to play. But Point Park responded with some key buckets -- a layup by McPhatter and three drives by Savisky to build a 59-49 lead with 2:46 left.
Savisky, a junior from Butler, Pa., had all 12 of her points the second half and six of her seven rebounds after halftime.
Even with the double-digit lead, Asbury made things interesting when Barbee's long-range jumper cut it to 60-54 with 2:00 to go. A frantic exchange ensued as Point Park turned it over only to have Asbury miss a layup and also a put-back attempt from point-blank range.
Asbury got another steal on Point Park's next trip and proceeded to miss three shots from in close. The rebound went out of bounds to Asbury, but the Eagles gave possession away with an offensive foul.
With under a minute to go and protecting the 60-54 lead, Point Park turned it over, and Annissia Wood raced the other way for a breakway layup to cut the lead to 60-56 with 44 seconds remaining.
Asbury fouled, and Schartner made 1 of 2 for a 61-56 lead. Asbury senior guard Laura Carroll (16.2 ppg), who struggled to 2 for 18 shooting amid the Point Park defense, missed a layup at the other end. With still a chance remaining, the Eagles' hopes went away when they picked up an intentional fould.
With Austin's two made free throws and possession going back to Point Park, the Pioneers were able to close it out and win, 67-58. Besides Barbee's 30 points, no other Asbury player reached double figures. Wood had nine off the bench.
Asbury beat Point Park, 83-75, at home Jan. 5 when Carroll had 28 and Barbee 22. But those two, who were both KIAC All-Conference Team picks this year, did not have it working in tandem.
It was the second night in a row that the Point Park defense shut down one of the top scorers in the KIAC. IU Southeast guard Heather Wheat (20.3 ppg) was held to four points on 1 of 12 shooting in the Pioneers' 76-51 semifinal win on Monday.
Point Park took two of three from Asbury this year with the other win being by a similar score of 63-56 at home Dec. 17. The Pioneers took home the conference title by turning the game into its style. Point Park is 10th in the country in scoring defense at 55.3 ppg, a figure that leads the KIAC. Point Park got just above its scoring average of 66.3 ppg.
The early part of the game saw Point Park take leads of 10-6 and then later 15-8 as Davis drilled a 3-pointer. The Pioneers led by as many as 12, 24-12, in the first half on Schartner's trey with 8:03 before the half. But Barbee, a 5-7 guard, had 12 points and 10 rebounds the first half to get the Eagles within 27-23 at the break.
To stay up to date on Point Park women's basketball as it begins the NAIA Division II National Championship, visit the Point Park athletics website for full national-tournament coverage.