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Women's Basketball

01-03-15 -- PPU women at AU FB pic small
Pictured: Point Park's Kayla Kiriau (left) and Carly Forse (right) versus Asbury in the 2014 KIAC Tournament finals.

Game Notes: #22 Point Park Women at Asbury (Ky.) & Alice Lloyd (Ky.)

By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2014 at 2 p.m. ET
#22 Point Park (11-1, 0-0 KIAC) at Asbury (Ky.) (11-2, 1-0)  Live Video / Live Stats
Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 at 1 p.m. ET
#22 Point Park (11-1, 0-0) at Alice Lloyd (Ky.) (4-8, 0-1)  Live Video

NAIA Division II No. 22-ranked Point Park University (11-1, 0-0 KIAC) opens Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with conference games at Asbury (Ky.) (11-2, 1-0) and Alice Lloyd (Ky.) (4-8, 0-1) on Jan. 3-4, 2015.

The matchup against Asbury is a rematch of the past two KIAC Tournament championship games, both of which were won by Point Park. The Pioneers have won seven in a row and 10 of 11 overall on the season to run their record to 11-1. Asbury is 11-2 overall, which includes an upset of NAIA DII No. 7 College of St. Mary 99-73 this past Tuesday, which is the second Top 10 opponent a KIAC team has defeated this year with IU Southeast besting then-No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan earlier in the season.

Point Park was predicted as the preseason favorite in the KIAC North Division while Asbury was picked as the favorite in the KIAC South Divsion. Both teams currently have the best overall record in their division as conference play arrives. It will be the only regular season matchup between the cross-division rivals, and the same is true for Sunday's opponent, Alice Lloyd.

Asbury has received votes in the NAIA DII Top 25 poll in each of the two regular season votes. Asbury was a perfect 3-0 at home heading into its home contest Friday against Carlow. Point Park split two meetings against Asbury last season.

Point Park will wrap up its trip Sunday at Alice Lloyd in Pippa Passes, Ky., which was a good place for the Pioneers last season as there they won the KIAC Tournament there. Point Park was 2-0 against Alice Lloyd last season. Currently, Alice Lloyd is 4-8 and tied for last in the KIAC South Division at 0-1 KIAC. Alice Lloyd averages 78.16 points per game as a team heading into its game Saturday against Carlow.

The Pioneers have won 10 of 11 games on the year and seven in a row heading into its game against Asbury to run their record to 11-1 on the season. Point Park is ranked No. 22 in the NAIA DII Top 25 Poll (Dec. 10) and will look to continue its momentum this weekend. Point Park has four of five starters returning from last season’s 29-5 team that made the NAIA DII national tournament for the third season in a row. The Pioneers have a deep roster with 11 players averaging at least 10 minutes per game and nine averaging at least four points per game.

Last game: Won, 75-69 at home versus NCAA Division II Alderson Broaddus. Alexa Xenakis led Point Park with a season-high 20 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field. Ja’Nia McPhatter added 16 points, and Carly Forse a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Point Park made a season-high 13 3-pointers on the day.

NAIA DII Top 25: The Pioneers are ranked No. 22 in the most-recent NAIA DII Top 25 Poll released Dec. 10. Point Park is 4-0 since the last rankings came out, and the next poll will be announced this coming Tuesday, Jan. 6, the third rankings of the regular season. Since the last poll, Point Park is 4-0 with wins against Penn State Fayette, West Virginia Tech, Wilmington and Alderson Broaddus. Asbury received votes towards the top 25 in the past two polls and with its victory against seventh-ranked College of St. Mary have made a strong pushed for a national ranking.

Head Coach: Tony Grenek (IUP ‘94) is in his fourth year at Point Park. His record of 88-20 (.808) at the school gives him the all-time record for coaching wins in program history. He passed Ed Meena, who won 81 games, for the record with the Nov. 24 victory at Washington Adventist.

NAIA DII Statistics: The Pioneers rank sixth in NAIA DII in turnover margin (+7.9), eighth in scoring offense (83.1 ppg), ninth in steals per game (13.0), ninth in assists per game (18.1), eighth in total rebounding (47.3) and ninth in assist/turnover ratio (+1.18).

Ja’Nia A Leader From Deep: Ja’Nia McPhatter ranks seventh in NAIA DII in 3-point field goal percentage at 48.6 percent. McPhatter was KIAC Player of the Week for helping lead the Pioneers to victory Dec. 16 at Wilmington and Dec. 18 versus Alderson-Broaddus. She shot 54.2 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three point range in those games.

KIAC Preseason Poll: Point Park is picked 1st of 5 teams in the KIAC North Division in the KIAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll (Oct. 22). The conference goes to a North & South Divisional alignment for the first time with five teams in the North and six in the South.

Did You Know: Since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, Point Park has a 40-6 record, one of the top-5 best records in NAIA Division II since then.

Up Next: Following the road trip, Point Park will face KIAC opponent Rio Grande Wednesday, Jan. 7 on the road. Rio Grande has an overall record of 9-5 after a 90-82 victory over NCAA DII Davis & Elkins. Rio Grande will have eight days between games.

Ja’Nia McPhatter needs 14 points for 600 in her PPU Career

Ja’Nia McPhatter needs 4 assists for 100 in her PPU Career

Alexa Xenakis needs 21 points for 500

Carly Forse need 4 assists for 100

Kelly Johnson needs 21 points for 200 in her PPU Career

Celina DiPietro needs 24 points for 200

Alexis Lyers needs 2 points for 100

Carly Corcoran needs 13 points for 100

Shaniya Rivers needs 4 points for 50

POINT PARK PROBABLES Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown (Previous) PPG RPG

G Kayla Kiriau 5-9 Sr. Wellington, New Zealand (Sheridan JC) 8.7 3.7

G Kelly Johnson 5-8 So. Pittsburgh, Pa. (Clarion University) 14.9 3.6

G Alexa Xenakis 5-6 Jr. Pittsburgh, Pa. (Keystone Oaks HS) 7.3 1.6

F Ja’Nia McPhatter 5-9 Jr. New Castle, Pa. (La Roche College) 10.0 4.6

F Carly Forse 5-10 So. Pittsburgh, Pa. (Bishop Canevin HS) 8.3 7.1

Head Coach: Tony Grenek (IUP ‘94), fourth season. Career Record: 88-20 (.803)

Asbury was predicted to finish first in the KIAC South Division in the KIAC Preseason Poll. It has a balanced playing rotation with with 10 players averaging double digit minutes per game. The Eagles' depth has been a strength in the past that has been used to wear down teams. Asbury (Ky.) has an uptempo offense that ranks sixth in NAIA Division II in scoring offence at 84.9 points per game. The Eagles also have a strong defense that uses a 2-3 zone and holds teams to 20-percent shooting from 3-point range, the second-best perimeter defense in the country.

Asbury’s two losses on the season were to NAIA DI Campbellsville (88-60), which is ranked No. 5 in the most recent poll and NAIA DII No. 12 Marian, 79-72. The loss to Marian snapped an eight game winning streak. This week, Asbury has already played No. 12 Marian, No. 7 College of St. Mary and Carlow prior to its contest against Point Park.

ASBURY PROBABLES Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown (Previous) PPG RPG

Kylee Gorby G Jr. Leitchfield, Ky. (Grayson County HS) 10.4 3.6

Savannah Taylor F So. Harrodsburg, Ky. (Mercer County HS) 12.9 6.0

Brittany Warren G So. Science Hill, Ky. (Pulaski County HS) 14.2 3.4

Kali Whiteside F So. Lawrenceburg, Ky. (Anderson County HS) 6.6 8.5

Catie Fletcher G Jr. Versailles, Ky. (Woodford County HS) 14.4 3.9

Head coach: Jason Price (Asbury 2000), first season Career record 10-2.

It has been an up and down year for Alice Lloyd, which lost to graduation its all-time leading scorer and KIAC Player of the Year, Ariel Nickell. Back for her senior season, however, is point guard Carla Booth (22.8 ppg), who has scored 1,325 career points heading into Saturday’s home game against Carlow. Booth had overseas experience this summer and has been the Eagles leader. She ranks third in NAIA DII in points per game and 10th in total scoring. Another big force for Alice Lloyd is Serena Nickell, who is averaging 11.5 points per game and grabbing a team high 5.3 rebounds per game. Alice Lloyd has historically had a high scoring offense, however, this season is being outscored by 8.1 points per game and the team has 50 more turnovers than assists.

ALICE LLOYD PROBABLES Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown (Previous) PPG RPG

Carla Booth G Sr. Warfield, Ky. 22.8 3.7

Tailor Morgan G So. Granger, TN 4.3 2.2

Madison Reed G Fr. Salyersville, Ky. 6.0 3.1

Sara Robinson F Fr. Manchester, Ky. 3.3 3.3

Serena Nickell F Jr. Tazewell, TN 11.5 5.3

Head Coach: John Mills 20th season