No. 21 Point Park women stay perfect with OT win at Indiana Southeast, 79-77
Jan. 4, 2014 at 11:58 p.m. ET
Alexa Xenakis had 18 points and hit a big 3-pointer to tie late in overtime at IU Southeast. Photo by Evan Schall.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- The No. 21 Point Park University women’s basketball team was up 70-68 in the second half against Indiana University Southeast when the Grenadiers used a timeout with 19.5 seconds to play.
“This is our game to win,” Point Park senior Katresa Savisky said in the huddle.
Point Park (13-0, 3-0 KIAC) needed overtime, but it did indeed go on to win, 79-77, to tie a team record with a 13-game winning streak to open the season and boost its KIAC record to 3-0.
“This game definitely wasn’t for the faint of heart, it went back and forth,” Point Park head coach Tony Grenek said.
“We were very fortunate to win that game. A little luck was on our side. I thought we did a nice job of building a 10-11-point lead with three minutes left, and we just made too many mistakes down the stretch. I like to think that game shouldn’t have gone to overtime-- we should have won the game in regulation -- and by the same token, IU Southeast deserved to win the game in overtime.”
Freshman center Sam Weir led Point Park with 25 points and 17 rebounds while sophomore guard Alexa Xenakis added 18 points. Megan Cureton led Indiana Southeast with 20 points, and teammate Heather Wheat added 19 points.
IU Southeast led through most of the first half, however with 4:36 before halftime, Savisky rebounded a Pioneers miss, fought to keep possession and then made a shot from her knees for a 26-25 Point Park lead. Savisky finished with 10 points and nine rebounds as the Pioneers placed three players in double digits.
The Pioneers kept the lead through halftime and were up, 36-32, at the break.
In the second half, the Grenadiers came back to tie the score at 44-44 with 13:34 to play. Despite this, Point Park was able to regain composure and went on an 11-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 69-58, on a layup by Carly Forse with 4:27 left in regulation.
But that was the last field goal of the second half for the Pioneers, who had just one point the rest of regulation. Meanwhile, IU Southeast ended regulation on a 12-1 run to force overtime at 70-70.
Point Park was guarding a 70-68 lead and had possession with 19.5 seconds left when the Grenadiers called timeout. But Point Park turned the ball over, and Michaela Harris made two free throws to tie the score and force overtime.
IU Southeast controlled the start of overtime and forced Weir and Carly Forse to foul out of the game. A Mary Dye jumper put the Grenadiers up, 76-72, with 2:37 to go.
The Grenadiers had an opportunity to stretch the lead, but Wheat missed two free throws. Point Park’s Kayla Kiriau scored on a drive to get within, 76-74, and Indiana Southeast’s Sidney Carr converted one free throw to increase the lead to 77-74 with just over one minute to play.
That’s when Savisky found Xenakis for a 3-pointer that the game at 77-77 with 52 seconds left. Alexis Lyers then came up with a steal for Point Park, and Haley Sauer made 1 of 2 free throws for a 78-77 edge.
The Grenadiers’ Wheat then drove the lane and drew a foul call, but she was unable to deliver and missed both free throws. IU Southeast’s top player was just 5 of 12 on foul shots, and her team was 29 of 43 on the day.
Sauer again split two free throws on Point Park’s next possession for a 79-77 cushion. IU Southeast had Megan Cureton miss a jumper with three seconds left allowing Point Park to hang on for the victory.
“Anytime you win a conference game on the road, it’s huge,” said Grenek. “It doesn’t matter what the score is as long as you pull it out.”
Point Park had balanced production through its starting lineup with freshman forward Carly Forse and junior point guard Kayla Kiriau each totaling nine points and eight rebounds. Sauer had six points off the bench, including the late free throws that provided the difference.
The team will travel to Brescia University Sunday with a game time scheduled for 1 p.m. CT. The start of the game may move up due to weather. Follow @PointParkSports for updates.