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Women's Basketball

Point Park women return to NAIA Division II Top 25 at No. T-23 this week

Jan. 28, 2015 at 10:45 a.m. ET

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Ja'Nia McPhatter and the Pioneers (19-2) are ranked No. T-23 this week. Photo by Chris Squier.

By Zachary Weiss

NAIA DII TOP 25

PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University women’s basketball team has returned to the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll after a two week absence. The Pioneers (19-2, 6-1 KIAC) are ranked tied for No. 23 in the national poll released Tuesday (Jan. 27).

Point Park has won 15 of its past 16 games and has the best overall record in the KIAC. At 6-1 conference, the Pioneers lead the KIAC North Division. Rio Grande is also 6-1 KIAC, but Point Park owns the edge with a 74-70 win over the RedStorm Jan. 7.

“We are pleased to be ranked again, but we have a lot of work ahead of us and that’s what we are focusing on,” coach Tony Grenek said.

The Pioneers are ranked for the fourth time this year. Point Park was last ranked at No. 25 on Jan. 6, which came after its most-recent loss. The Pioneers’ last lost came Jan. 3 at Asbury (Ky.), 66-64, a span of 25 days.

The Pioneers went 3-0 last week to return to the Top 25. Point Park defeated Cincinnati Christian at home, 70-54, and then won at Brescia, 94-78, and at Midway, 77-69.

It was as impressive week for the Pioneers, who led CCU, 10-0, and by 16 at the half. Point Park led Brescia, 14-0, and by 23 at the half. Playing a little more than 12 hours later at Midway, the Pioneers fell behind by 15 in the first half but outscored the Eagles by 23 the last 25 minutes.

This season, Point Park ranks in the top 10 in a variety of national statistics. It is third in both turnover margin (+8.9) and 3-point defense (.233), ranks sixth in total steals (278), scoring offense (82.8 ppg) and assist/turnover ratio (+1.14).

Additionally, the Pioneers rank eighth in steals per game (13.2) and 10th in defensive rebounds per game (31.1) and total scoring offense (1,740 points). Sophomore guard Kelly Johnson in fifth in NAIA D-II with 75 total steals and sixth in steals per game at 3.6.

Point Park will next face IU Southeast Friday at home with a 5:30 pm tipoff. The Pioneers will be going for their fourth straight 20-win season, all of which have come under Grenek.

IU Southeast lost Tuesday night at IU East, 93-74, but still is still tied for the lead in the KIAC South Division at 5-2 KIAC. The Grenadiers, 14-7 overall, are tied with Midway for first place in the KIAC South. Earlier this season, IU Southeast defeated then-No. 5 (now No. 6) Indiana Wesleyan, 70-62.

Tipoff on Friday night at CCAC-South is 5:30 p.m for IU Southeast at Point Park. The Pioneers will be wearing their black uniforms. Point Park fans are encourages to wear black in support of the Pioneers. Fan Vans will be available for Point Park students. Fan Vans leave campus at 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. for the women’s game and at 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. for the men’s game.

Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports