(RV) Point Park women open season with victory over WVU Tech, 87-82
Nov. 1, 2014
Sam Weir scored 26 points in the season-opening win. File photo by Evan Schall.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa — The receiving votes Point Park University women’s basketball team won its third consecutive season opener Saturday with an 87-82 victory against visiting West Virginia Tech at CCAC-South Gym.
Sophomore center Sam Weir led Point Park [1-0] with 26 points and eight rebounds. Weir made 10 of her 18 shots from the field.
Sophomore forward Carly Forse recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Kelly Johnson recorded 16 points, seven assists and six steals in her Pioneers debut.
“It [the game] was definitely a battle out there, but we did what we were supposed to do and got a big win,” Weir said.
Point Park scored the opening five points of the game and later led, 15-7, after an 8-1 run. The lead would stretch to 26-11 with 11:41 remaining in the first half.
The double-digit advantage lasted for just over six minutes before West Virginia Tech [0-2] came back and cut the deficit to as low as two points.
The Pioneers received a major contribution from bench player Alexis Lyers, who scored all seven of her points in the first half, which helped allowed Point Park to 45-42 halftime lead.
“It was different, but sometimes I’m not positive and I’m trying to stay positive this time and try to make good free throws,” said Lyers. “It’s good to be a spark for the team because if someone’s down, you try to be the person that picks them up and when you do, it’s great.”
Point Park opened the second half scoring the first seven points to stretch the lead to 10, 52-42. Weir highlighted the run with a 3-point play after converting a lay-up despite a foul.
Unfazed, West Virginia Tech responded with a 19-7 run to take the lead for the first time all game, 61-59 with 12 minutes to go. Nia Nolan, who had a team-high 17 points and six assists on 3 of 5 from long range, gave the Golden Bears the lead with one of her three treys.
And although Point Park forged a tie moments later, Lakisa Adkins drained another 3 for a 64-61 West Virginia Tech lead.
“We told ourselves that we had to relax and that we had this game,” Weir said. “We had to pick ourselves up and go on a streak. Once you hit that streak, it puts them back a little bit.”
Over the next six minutes, the best Point Park could do was muster tie, however, another 3-point play by with 4:22 left gave them their first lead in quite some time, 77-76. The Pioneers would not trail for the rest of the game as the defense that forced 27 turnovers was able to keep the Pioneers ahead.
The Point Park defense collected 18 steals and made seven blocks. Johnson’s six steals led the way, and Shaniya Rivers made four, including one with under two minutes to play when WV Tech was within on possession of the lead.
Kayla Kiriau had three steals to go with nine points, and Carly Forse added three steals to her double-double. Ja’Nia McPhatter chipped in seven points – including two 3-pointers – five rebounds and three assists in her first game action since the 2012-13 season. She missed all of last year with a preseason injury. Point Park was just 3 of 16 from long range, but McPhatter was 2 for 2.
The Pioneers will next travel to Madonna [Michigan] for a game Friday. Point Park defeated Madonna 77-74 last season.
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