Point Park women grind out 53-47 win over Midway (Ky.), improve to 10-2
Dec. 18, 2012 at 3:45 p.m. ET
Ja'Nia McPhatter had 16 points and 10 rebounds in Point Park win on Monday. Photo by Evan Skowvron.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- Playing its second KIAC home game in less than 24 hours, the Point Park University women's basketball team came away with a 53-47 victory over Midway (Ky.) College on Tuesday afternoon at CCAC-South.
Coupled with Monday night's important, 63-56 win over Asbury (Ky.), Point Park is now 10-2 overall and 4-1 KIAC with the two victories. The Pioneers' four KIAC wins in a row have them in first place in the conference. Midway fell to 4-11 overall and 2-3 KIAC.
The Pioneers won their sixth-consecutive game and cured something that had been bugging them earlier in the year. The game versus Midway was the Pioneers' third game in four days. Point Park's losses this year have come in the third game in four days (at Daemen Nov. 17) and the third game in five days (vs. Alice Lloyd).
Although there were times when it looked as though Point Park was on the verge of picking up a surprising loss versus Midway, the Pioneers pulled it out in the end to reverse the trend of dropping the final game of the stretch.
Sophomore forward Ja'Nia McPhatter, from New Castle, Pa., finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. She scored 12 points the second half to lead Point Park's charge in building a 46-36 lead with 6:37 to. But that lead was a long time in the making.
Point Park was ahead, 27-15, with 6:38 left in the first half after Teresa Davis scored a couple of inside baskets. Davis finished with 11 points. But the Pioneers went the next 9:02 without scoring a single point. Midway ended the first half on an 11-0 run to trim the halftime margin to 27-26.
The Pioneers' scoring drought continued into the second half before finally coming to a close on McPhatter's free throws that gave Point Park a 29-26 lead with 16:58 remaining.
That left Point Park clinging to a 31-30 lead with 12:36 remaining as both teams were struggling from the field. Point Park called timeout and came out with a strategy of getting the ball inside to McPhatter, a 5-9 forward.
McPhatter, who has a double-double in six of her last seven games, scored three straight inside buckets. Problem was, Midway also scored three straight times as Point Park remained ahead, 37-36.
The Pioneers finally got the offense and defense going at the same time when they worked a 46-36 lead. That resulted from a 3-point play by April Austin, a layup by McPhatter and a transition hoop from Haley Sauer. Sauer chipped in eight points off the bench. Austin ended up with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Midway threatened once more down 48-41 with 4:03 left, but by the time Davis hit from the outside for a 53-43 lead, the game was out of reach with 2:04 left. Point Park, which had only six turnovers to that point, turned it over four times in the final minute as the final margin was cut down to six, 53-47.
Point Park was shooting well over 50 percent from the field when it was up 27-15 in the first half. But the Pioneers ended up shooting 38 percent from the field. That number was brought down with a season-worst 2-for-19 performance (10.5 percent) from long range. The Pioneers were 1 for 11 from distance the first half.
Point Park did not have a good day on the rebounds either. Midway out-rebounded Point Park, 50-33. The minus-17 rebounding margin was the worst of the year for Point Park. Midway shot 32 percent -- including 3 for 15 from long range -- but did grab 18 offensive rebounds.
Point Park is off until Dec. 29-30 when it hosts IU Southeast (Dec. 29) and Brescia (Ky.) (Dec. 30) for a pair of KIAC games. At 4-1 KIAC, Point Park is a top the conference standings with four KIAC wins in a row.
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Teresa Davis, a junior guard/forward from Vermilion, Ohio, added 11 points