No. 22 Point Park improves to 10-1 with victory at NCAA D-III No. 22 Wilmington
Dec. 16, 2014
Point Park head coach Tony Grenek and the Pioneers pictured during Tuesday's win. Photo by Zachary Weiss.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
WILMINGTON, OH – The No. 22-ranked Point Park University women’s basketball team faced a road test at Wilmington College Tuesday and came away with a 79-57 victory over the Quakers, who were ranked No. 22 in NCAA Division III.
Junior guard/forward Ja’Nia McPhatter led Point Park (10-1) with 15 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the field while grabbing five rebounds.
Senior forward Natasha Moss scored 14 points, which is a Point Park career-high after transferring from NAIA Division I Peru State. Moss shot 5 for 8 from the field and grabbed a team-best six rebounds.
At the team’s media day, coach Tony Grenek told those in attendance that he wanted the team to play its best basketball before January which marks the start of KIAC play. With one game remaining until conference season starts, Moss believes the team is reaching that goal.
“I feel that the whole team is starting to reach its peak,” Moss said. “We’re starting to share the ball a lot more, we’re pushing up the floor and we’re finally getting an identity of what Point Park women’s basketball is.”
Also scoring in double figures for the Pioneers was junior guard Alexa Xenakis, who had 12 points while making 5 of 6 field goals and 2 of 3 treys on the night.
Point Park used a pressure defense throughout to force 28 turnovers, a season high for Wilmington (6-2). The Pioneers grabbed 11 steals with sophomore forward Carly Forse totaled a team-high four steals.
The Pioneers outscored Wilmington 24-13 in points off turnovers, 15-8 in fast break points and 34-26 in bench points.
Sophomore forward Mary Moyer led Wilmington (6-2) with 14 points and six rebounds. Guard Courtney Tucker also added 10 points.
Scoring was limited at the beginning of the game with both teams committing several turnovers. Wilmington had control of the game early using a 6-1 run to take a 16-9 lead seven minutes in.
Down 18-12 midway through the first half, Grenek told his team not to panic, and the immediate result was a 6-0 run to tie the game. The run allowed the Pioneers to regain control of the game. Point Park opened the game making only 4 of 16 field goals the first 10 minutes but made 12 of 19 field goals the rest of the first half.
“We were fine, the defense was looking good we just needed to capitalize on the turnovers,” said Grenek. “Once we started hitting our shots, we were able to take control of the game.”
Wilmington called timeout with the score tied at 18-18. The Quakers then took a four-point advantage, 22-18, however with 5:46 to play in the first half, Forse converted a lay-up, to give Point Park its first lead of the game, 23-22.
Wilmington responded with a brief lead late in the half, but the Pioneers ended the half of a 13-4 run to take a 40-34 at the break.
Point Park extended the lead to 11 points, 49-38, with 16:11 remaining after senior guard Kayla Kiriau converted a 3-point shot.
Wilmington hung around for the next five minutes and was within 53-46 at the 11:30 mark before Moss took over the game.
Moss converted two consecutive 3-pointers, and although she missed a long-range jumper in between, Grenek instructed his players to feed the hot hand. Moss rewarded Grenek’s faith with another trey for a 65-48 lead with eight minutes to go. This was part of a 16-2 run that extended the lead to as much as 21 points, 69-48, with 6:24 left.
“I was feeling it from 3, so they were feeding the hot hand,” Moss said. “My teammates expected for me to knock it down, so I did what they expected. [This game] just shows what my team needs from me from now on. It shows that I can play this style and that coach (Grenek) will expect that every game.”
Grenek regularly substituted his players and 12 of the 13 that played scored.
Point Park will next face Alderson-Broaddus Thursday with the opening tip scheduled for 1 p.m.
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