Point Park women set season-best with 46-point win over PSU-Beaver
Jan. 15, 2015 at 6:00 a.m. ET
Head coach Tony Grenek and the Pioneers in a game earlier this year. Photo by Chris Squier.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — The Point Park University women’s basketball team reached 100 points for the third time this season and defeated visiting Penn State-Beaver, 105-59, Wednesday night at CCAC-South Gym.
Point Park (16-2, 3-1 KIAC) registered a season-high for largest margin of victory in the win over Penn State-Beaver (9-5, 4-1 PSUAC), which came one day after the Pioneers had dropped out of the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll despite going 2-0 since the previous poll was released.
The Pioneers were ranked No. 25 last week, but they dropped down to the ‘others receiving votes’ section in the rankings released Tuesday (Jan. 13). Point Park is No. 28 overall in the nation despite going perfect the week before with a road win at Rio Grande and a home victory over IU Kokomo.
Wednesday marked the first time the Pioneers scored 100 points or more at home since Nov. 27, 2007 – a 101-90 victory over AMC opponent Wilberforce. The Pioneers have three 100-point games this year after having just one the previous three seasons combined.
The Pioneers shot a season best 51.9 percent from the floor in the game and their second half percentage of 65.6 percent is also a season high for a half.
Junior guard/forward Ja’Nia McPhatter had a team leading 23 points and nine rebounds for the Pioneers, while junior guard Alexa Xenakis had a season-high 22 points. Sophomore guard Kelly Johnson had 19 points, all of which came in the first half.
Additionally, senior forward Natasha Moss had 16 points in 19 minutes off the bench.
Point Park’s defense forced 29 turnovers and had 16 steals in the contest.
PSU-Beaver was led by both forward Morgan Kurtz (15 points and 13 rebounds) and forward Asia Borders (15 points). Cassandra Flowers also reached double digit scoring with 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Point Park scored the opening four points of the game, however, the Lions went on an 11-4 run to lead by three.
Although Point Park converted a 3-point basket to tie the game, coach Tony Grenek was frustrated with his team and called a timeout to regroup.
“I think it was a lack of execution on the offensive end,” assistant coach April Austin said. “When we play, we need to make sure we are focusing on our execution and going. We have to work on our fundamentals, keeping the ball moving and getting into our positions, that way in conference games, we can execute that.”
The timeout ended up refocusing the Pioneers’ offense. Point Park then went on a 27-5 scoring run to take a 36-20 advantage with 6:44 remaining in the first half and later led, 51-30, at the half.
“We were a little slow in the beginning of the game, but once we got into the swing of things, we picked it up, caused a lot of turnovers and got many transition baskets,” said Austin.
In the second half, Point Park was already up by 18 when it went on a 14-1 run to open the lead to 73-42 with 12:05 to play.
Point Park reached 100 points with 2:23 to play when Shaniya Rivers found Moss for a lay-up. Every Pioneer got an opportunity to play with 10 of the 12 players receiving double digit minutes and 11 of 12 scoring.
Point Park was 2-0 in games played this week defeating PSU-Fayette 75-50 Monday. In that victory, the Pioneers clinched its sixth consecutive winning season.
Elsewhere around the KIAC, No. 22 Asbury (Ky.) lost its second KIAC contest of the season, 90-82, Tuesday against Brescia, meaning Point Park has an opportunity to regain the top spot in the KIAC poll, which will be released Jan. 19 with the top 25 poll coming out a day later.
Point Park will not play again until Tuesday when it faces KIAC opponent Cincinnati Christian at 5:30 pm. For a home game.
“We always have set ourselves with high goals, high standards and high expectations,” Austin said. “Weeks like this are crucial where now we can rest our bodies, get our bodies fresh, go hard in practice and prepare for Cincinnati Christian on Tuesday.”
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