No. 22 Point Park ends first semester at 11-1 after win over Alderson Broaddus
Dec. 18, 2014 at 9:45 p.m. ET
Alexa Xenakis (22) scored a season-high 20 points on 6 of 11 from 3-point range. Photo by Derrik Whiten.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. – The No. 22 Point Park University women’s basketball team won its seventh game in a row Thursday afternoon defeating NCAA Division II opponent Alderson Broaddus, 75-69, at CCAC-South Gym.
“We were very fortunate to win today, I think I put us in some bad positions,” Pioneers head coach Tony Grenek said. “They made a run when we were in double digits and I went zone, and they knocked down three or four 3-pointers in a row and got back into the game. Overall, I’m happy with the way we played because we played hard. I knew it was going to be a great game.”
Leading the way for Point Park (11-1) was junior guard Alexa Xenakis who scored a season-high 20 points on 6 of 11 from 3-point range. She already had four treys by halftime as the Pioneers led, 34-23, at the break.
“Walking downstairs at halftime with coach Austin, we were talking about that and she’s a kid that deserves success because nobody works harder than her,” said Grenek. “She’s the one that stays in the gym after practice and shoots 100 threes and foul shots. She works her tail off and if there’s anyone who deserves success it’s definitely Alexa.”
Point Park sophomore forward Carly Forse recorded her team-leading fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Bishop Canevin product had eight points down the final stretch of the game that helped the Pioneers hold off an Alderson Broaddus team that had cut an 18-point, second half lead down to five.
Point Park junior Ja’Nia McPhatter recorded 16 points, her third consecutive game scoring double figures. McPhatter made 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, and Point Park made a season-high 13 treys as a team.
Pioneers point guard Kelly Johnson chipped in seven points, seven assists and six rebounds. She led the Point Park passing effort that had 19 assists on 25 baskets.
Alderson Broaddus (2-7) had four scorers in double figures in Rachel Ashley (12), Nautica Davis (11), Sydney Shaffer (10) and Jordan Parker (10). Alderson-Broaddus had advantages of 54-18 in bench points and 38-22 with points in the paint.
Point Park opened the game on a 21-9 run 8:30 into the first half. By then, Point Park had already made five 3-pointers with Xenakis draining three of them. On the defensive end, Point Park forced nine turnovers the first eight minutes including two in the first two possessions of the game.
The immediate response, however, was an 8-0 run by Alderson Broaddus that made the score, 21-17, in favor of the Pioneers with 6:46 remaining in the opening half.
But Xenakis converted another 3-point basket, and after Grenek called a timeout, the Pioneers settled down to take a 34-23 lead at the half. The half was capped off with a McPhatter lay-up with five seconds to play.
Alderson Broaddus got the deficit down to 40-35 the first five minutes of the second half. But another trey by Xenakis ignited an 13-4 Point Park run as the Pioneers were up, 53-39.
Point Park stretched its lead to 18 points on two occasions both involving senior Natasha Moss. The first instance was when she made two free throws and the second on a three point shot she made with 8:28 to play, good for a 64-46 advantage.
Alderson Broaddus responded with a 17-4 run in 4:02 to cut the Pioneer advantage to 65-60. The Battlers made three straight 3-pointers during the spurt to get back into the game.
However, Xenakis hit another 3 to put the lead back up to eight, 68-60, with 4:14 to go. A clutch, 3-point play by Forse inside built Point Park’s lead to 74-63 with 2:13 left. Alderson Broaddus made one final push as Rachel Ashley’s layup with 19 seconds left cut it to 74-69, but the Pioneers held on.
Point Park will not play another game until Jan. 3 when it opens KIAC play against Asbury (Ky.) (9-1), which was predicted to win the KIAC South Division in the preseason and has won eight contests in a row. It has received votes in each of the past two NAIA Division II polls.
Grenek is glad his team gets a bit of a break but knows his team will have to prepare for a tough matchup in Asbury.
“We had finals last week and we played 8 road games in our first 12 games with each being at least 3.5 hours away,” Grenek said. “We were on a bus for eight hours Tuesday night in Wilmington and played a game. We can’t expect these kids to be bionic and come out fresh all the time, so we’re working hard. We’ll have a 10 game break and then we’ll focus on Asbury, Alice Lloyd and Rio Grande. Now we just want to enjoy the break and rest our legs a little bit.”
Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports