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Point Park women (19-4) climbing national rankings but still outside NAIA DII Top 25

Feb. 6, 2013 at 12:50 p.m. ET

Coach Grenek Feb. 1, 2013 fh
Point Park head coach Tony Grenek and the Pioneers are just outside the NAIA DII Top 25. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.

NAIA DII TOP 25 POLL (Feb. 5, 2013)

PITTSBURGH – The Point Park University women’s basketball team is climbing the NAIA Division II women’s basketball rankings with its seven-game win streak and a 15-2 record since Nov. 30. And despite being one of the hotter teams in NAIA Division II, Point Park is still on the outside looking in on the Top 25.

The Pioneers (19-4, 10-3 KIAC) are still just outside the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll in the ‘others receiving votes’ section of this week’s rankings (Feb. 5, 2013). But they are up five spots from last week to No. 29 overall. Point Park has been receiving votes for the last several weeks although this week’s mention is the highest they’ve been since being No. 27 overall in the preseason Top 25.

Point Park moved up five spots from last week after beating USCAA No. 1 and former NAIA DII power Daemen (22-7), 54-52, at home last Friday on April Austin’s 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left. The Pioneers, who are 42-11 since the start of last year, ended the 2011-12 season at No. 21 in the nation with a final record of 23-7.

Point Park has been leading the KIAC since early January but has not been able to crack the Top 25. The KIAC is one of only two conferences – there are 13 in all – without a ranked team in NAIA DII women’s basketball. Curiously, Point Park dropped down to No. 34 in last week’s poll even though it went 2-0 the week before. On the outside looking in, Point Park has the best winning percentage (.826) and the fewest losses (4) of any team outside the Top 25.

With another strong week – which includes a home date with KIAC foe Berea (Ky.) on Saturday (Feb. 9) at 12 p.m. and a road trip to non-conference PSU-Greater Allegheny on Sunday (Feb. 10) – the Pioneers may be able to break into the national rankings.

There were three new teams in this week’s NAIA DII Top 25 Poll. New No. 22 Purdue Calumet (Ind.) (17-7) is up eight spots after an upset of No. 8 St. Xavier (Ill.) last week. No. 23 Grand View (Iowa) (15-6) experienced a jump that Point Park was hoping for itself – a vault up 12 spots from No. 35 last week to No. 23 this week after a 2-0 showing in the Midwest Collegiate Conference, and No. 24 Siena Heights (18-8) is up two spots after going 2-1 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference last week. Grand View took over the top spot in the MWCC standings, which was a big reason for its jump in the polls.

Point Park and second-year head coach Tony Grenek have two NCAA Division I transfers in the backcourt – senior point guard and 2011-12 NAIA DII Honorable Mention All-American April Austin (11.6 ppg) and senior shooting guard Emily Schartner (12.3 ppg) -- as well as sophomore forward Ja’Nia McPhatter (15.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg), a transfer from La Roche (Pa.) College.

 

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