Point Park women bump win streak up to six with non-conference win over WVU Tech
Jan. 26, 2013 at 4:15 p.m. ET
Ja'Nia McPhatter had 17 points in the win over WVU Tech on Saturday. Photo by Evan Skowvron
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WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- The Point Park University women's basketball team stepped out of KIAC play this weekend but kept its win streak going with Saturday's non-conference home win over West Virginia Tech, 66-54, at CCAC-South Gym.
Point Park (18-4, 10-3 KIAC), which has only two KIAC games the entire month of February after already playing much of its conference slate, won for the sixth time in a row and improved to 10-1 at home.
Ja'Nia McPhatter had 17 points with 15 coming in a strong second-half that but WVU Tech away. April Austin finished with 14 points, and her 12 points the opening half helped the Pioneers overcome a slow start.
Emily Scharnter added 15 points, and her 8-for-11 effort from the foul line iced the game when the Golden Bears were trying to comeback.
Rebounding was a big reason that Point Park won with a 48-36 edge on the boards. Katresa Savisky pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds and also had six points and four assists. Teresa Davis with seven rebounds (5 offensive) and Maeve Gallagher five rebounds (4 offensive) led the attack on the glass.
Freshman Alexa Xenakis chipped in eight big points off the bench and provided a spark during the Pioneers' second-half surge.
The win allowed the Pioneers, winners of 14 of 16 games the last two months, to add to their non-conference resume. It was a good, non-conference win for Point Park, which is in the 'others receiving votes' section of this week's NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll at No. 32 overall.
West Virginia Tech, although only 9-11 overall, was a tough opponent that has been victimized by their NAIA Independent schedule, which has them now at 4-10 on the road. Case in point, WVU Tech twice beat current NAIA DII No. 23 Milligan (Tenn.), which is one of the team's Point Park is trying to catch in the rankings.
Amber Tully led WVU Tech with a game-high 20 points. She was 6 of 14 from 3-point range but did not hit the big ones down the stretch. Amy Gardner had 18 points and 10 rebounds on 3 of 7 from distance as the Golden Bears were 9 of 25 from downtown.
Point Park's first nine possessions of the game included going 0 for 8 on field goals with one turnover. WVU Tech was up 7-0 after four and a half minutes, and the Pioneers spent the better part of the first half trying to make up the early deficit.
Savisky made a tough and-1 play for the Pioneers' first lead, 19-18, with 6:15 before the half. The Pioneers managed a 30-26 lead at the break as Austin made a couple of late jumpers, the second of which was made possible by an offensive rebound from Gallagher.
The Golden Bears opened the second half on a 12-3 run that was made up entirely of 3-pointers. Tully hit WVU Tech's fourth trey of the second half for a 38-33 lead with 15:17 left.
But Point Park made its offensive push mainly behind McPhatter, who recovered from a 1 for 8 shooting performance the first half to finish 7 of 20 for 17 points. McPhatter made several key buckets the second half, and Schartner's trey gave Point Park its biggest lead at the time, 51-44, with 6:51 left.
Point Park maintained its 10-point lead, 59-49, on Xenakis' free throws with 1:21 to go. Scharnter hit several foul shots in the closing minutes to ice it.
Point Park is now off until next Friday (Feb. 1) when it hosts former AMC rival Daemen (19-6) at 7 p.m. Daemen, which is in transition to NCAA Division II, is the No. 1 team in the USCAA. Point Park beat Daemen, 60-48, last year in the American Mideast Conference Tournament Finals.
The Feb. 1 game vs. Daemen will be broadcast live on the Point Park Sports Network. Visit PPSN at iHigh.com/PointParkSportsNetwork to WATCH LIVE!