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Women's Basketball Recap

No. 22 Point Park gets road win over future KIAC member West Virginia Tech

Dec. 10, 2014 at 11:30 p.m. ET

Celina DiPietro had 11 points and made 3 of 4 3-pointers in the win at WVU Tech. Photo by Evan Schall.


By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. — The No. 22 Point Park University women’s basketball team won its ninth game of the season with a 91-74 victory Wednesday at West Virginia Tech.

Kelly Johnson put up a final line of 30 points on 14 of 19 shooting, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals in 25 minutes to lead Point Park (9-1).

Sophomore guard Celina DiPietro added a season-high 11 points, which included 3-for-4 shooting from 3-point range. Junior guard/forward Ja’Nia McPhatter also had 11 points on 3 of 4 from the outside.

Senior guard Kayla Kiriau and freshman guard Shaniya Rivers each had 10 points, and it was a career-high scoring output for Rivers.

West Virginia Tech (5-6) was paced by guard Nia Nolan’s 17 points and eight assists.

Wednesday's game was a matchup of future KIAC opponents. Last week, West Virginia Tech was officially approved for membership in the conference beginning in 2015-15. Point Park has beaten the Golden Bears twice in each of the last two seasons.

“I was very happy with the way we performed tonight,” Point Park head coach Tony Grenek said. “We played hard and executed well especially defensively. I am very proud with how we battled. Kelly Johnson was fantastic tonight on the offensive end.”

Point Park started the game with a 15-6 run on 6-for-6 shooting from the field. McPhatter had five points during this stretch.

The Golden Bears responded with a 16-7 run to tie the game at 22, however, a 3-pointer by McPhatter started another Pioneer run that opened up a 33-25 lead.

At halftime, Point Park led 52-41 after shooting 53 percent from the field. That included 4 for 11 from 3-point range.

The Pioneers assist-turnover ratio in the first half was 15 to 4. Defensively, Point Park had 10 turnovers with Johnson, Kiriau and McPhatter each leading the way at three by halftime.

Point Park was just getting started the first half. Johnson’s 3-pointer with 16:30 left was part of a 18-8 run that allowed the lead to stretch to 70-49.

The Pioneers’ lead eclipsed 20 points on another 3, this time from DiPietro, with 14 minutes remaining. Point Park’s biggest lead of the game was 26 points, and that happened a couple minutes after once on a 3-pointer by DiPietro and again on a trey by Rivers.

With 9:23 to go, Grenek inserted a new lineup using five different players. Down 79-57 at the time, West Virginia Tech let up a three point basket by sophomore guard Carly Corcoran and then scored the next 13 points to trail by 12, 82-70, with just over five minutes remaining.

But the Pioneers overcame the run as sophomore forward Carly Forse converted an inside basket, which was followed by a trey from Johnson that brought the lead back up to 16 points with 2:21 to play.

Point Park’s defense forced 19 turnovers for the game and had 13 total steals while the team made 50 percent of its shots.

Up next for the Pioneers is a road contest Tuesday at Wilmington (Ohio) at 6:30 p.m. Wilmington currently has a 6-0 record and has a contest Saturday prior to playing Point Park.

Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports