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Women's Basketball News

Point Park women's basketball returns to NAIA DII Top 25 Poll at No. 24

Dec. 2, 2014 at 11:30 p.m. ET

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Carly Forse works against Morningside (Iowa) in the national tournament last year. Morningside is now ranked No. 1.

NAIA DII TOP 25

By Zachary Weiss Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant

PITTSBURGH – With the release of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Top 25 Poll on Tuesday, Point Park University has made a return to the national rankings at No. 24 in the country.

The Pioneers (5-1) are back in the Top 25 after being in the ‘others receiving votes’ section at No. 28 overall in the preseason poll Oct. 28. This week’s poll was the first one of the regular season, and Point Park ties last year for the earliest the team has been ranked in program history.

Point Park broke into the rankings last year at No. 24 on Dec. 3, 2013, which was also the first poll of the regular season. The Pioneers were ranked in five of 13 polls during the 2013-14 season and reached as high as No. 18 on Jan. 7 when they were 14-0.

 “I was pleased to see we were ranked in the first poll of the regular season,” Point Park coach Tony Grenek said. “We still have a lot of work to do and that starts with our game Thursday.”

Point Park is 5-1 and averages 87.8 points per game, a 9.6-point increase from last season when it was 29-5 for the winningest year in team history.

Sophomore center Sam Weir leads the team with 18.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Kelly Johnson (17.2 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3.3 spg) and senior guard Kayla Kiriau (10.7 ppg, 2.1 spg) round out the double digit scorers.

Sophomore forward Carly Forse averages 9.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while junior guard/forward Ja’Nia McPhatter scores 8.3 points per game in addition to leading the Pioneers with eight made 3-pointers in 15 attempts for 53 percent.

So far in the season, Point Park has defeated West Virginia Tech, an NAIA Division I school that is slated to join the KIAC for the 2015-16 season, Madonna (Mich.) and Concordia (Mich.) from the traditionally tough WHAC conference, Pitt Johnstown of NCAA Division II and Washington Adventist from NAIA Division I.

Point Park ranks in the top 10 of the NAIA Division II team statistics in several important categories. The Pioneers are fourth in the nation in turnover margin (+8.6), fifth in scoring offense (87.8 ppg), eighth in rebounds per game (48.0), 10th in steals per game (14.0) and 10th in assists per game (17.8).

Ranked No. 1 in the NAIA DII Top 25 this week is Morningside (Iowa), which is 10-0 on the year. The Mustangs beat Point Park in the first round of the national tournament last season and return several players from that team.

Point Park next will face Washington Adventist Thursday at CCAC South in West Mifflin, Pa. site of all Pioneer home games. Tipoff is 5:30 p.m.

Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports