No. 18 Point Park sets season-high for points in 94-83 win at Alice Lloyd (Ky.)
Jan. 11, 2014 at 10:20 p.m. ET
Sophomore Alexa Xenakis scored a career-high 26 points in the win at Alice Lloyd (Ky.). Photo by Evan Schall.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
PIPPA PASSES, Ky. -- The No. 18 Point Park University women's basketball team recovered from its first loss of the season with a 94-83 victory at KIAC foe Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College on Saturday.
Alexa Xenakis led Point Park (15-1, 5-1 KIAC) with a career-high 26 points. The sophomore guard from Keystone Oaks High School made 5 of 9 3-pointers and 9 of 14 field goals overall.
Freshman forward Carly Forse added 13 points and nine rebounds and made 7 of 7 free throws. Junior point guard Kayla Kiriau gave the Pioneers three players in double figures with 12 points.
Alice Lloyd forward Ariel Nickell scored game-highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles (8-6, 3-2 KIAC).
The 94 points scored by the Pioneers set a season-high, and it came one night after a 65-57 loss at Berea (Ky.), which included season-lows for 57 points and 30-percent field goals in the first loss of the season.
A big factor at Alice Lloyd was bench scoring, and the Point Park bench had 29 points led by Alexis Lyers' eight points. In total, 12 players played and 11 scored for the Pioneers. Sub Haley Sauer chipped in seven points, and Carly Corcoran came off the bench to knock down two treys for six points.
"Any KIAC road win is great for us," head coach Tony Grenek said. "I like how the players responded today after yesterday's loss. It was a team effort."
Not only did Point Park have a good day offensively, it also got it done defensively, particularly from the perimeter. Alice Lloyd’s Nickell went to work down low for her double-double as did fellow forward Taylor Arthur with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
But the Alice Lloyd perimeter players were held to 2 for 21 from 3-point range, and the Eagles were held to 35-percent shooting overall. No perimeter player had a tougher day than Alice Lloyd point guard Carla Booth. She scored 15 points, but it came on 5 of 15 from the field, 0 for 6 from long range and alongside 10 turnovers.
Alice Lloyd had control to open the game taking leads of 8-2 and 16-6. Grenek called two timeouts early and tried to get his team to become more aggressive offensively. Quickly, the Pioneers cut the deficit to 20-19.
The Pioneers took the lead when senior Katresa Savisky made a 3-point play for a 22-20 edge midway through the first half. Savisky ended up with nine points. That started a run for Point Park, which eventually went up by 10, 37-27, with 5:00 to go before the half on a 3-pointer by Haley Sauer. Forse helped to get the spurt going with a 3-point play.
Nickell, the Eagles’ star forward who leads the country at 25.7 points per game, commented that although Alice Lloyd was playing well with the 16-6 lead early, it got away from them as the half wore on.
"At the beginning of the game we were playing well, our passes were good and then our passes became lazy," Nickell said.
Corcoran also made her impact in the first half making two 3-point shots. In total, the Pioneers made 9 of 20 3-point shots to tie a season high. That came less than 24 hours after going 2 for 21 in Friday’s loss at Berea (Ky.).
While Point Park was making its 3s, Alice Lloyd was not. Alice Lloyd shot just 2 of 21 from beyond the arc with Nickell making both of the Eagles’ treys.
"We didn't even shoot 1 percent from the 3-point line and that killed us," Nickell said.
At halftime, Point Park led 52-39.
Point Park stretched the lead to 19 points on two occasions, the first on Lyers’ 3-pointer for a 62-43 edge with 15:00 left and also a second time when Lyers converted a 3-point play after being fouled.
Alice Lloyd would come back and make a run. Nickell, who had 18 points in the first half, became the all-time leading scorer in team history as the Eagles cut the lead to six points.
The turning point for Point Park came when Xenakis made a lay-up in traffic. Booth fouled out on the play, as Alice Lloyd lost a key part of its offensive attack. When Xenakis made the free throw, the Pioneers’ lead was 86-71.
With Booth gone, Alice Lloyd tried to make a comeback once again and cut the lead to 10 points with less than a minute left. It was at this point however that Nickell fouled out, ending the Alice Lloyd comeback effort.
Point Park shot 44 percent for the game and made 23 of 31 free throws. Alice Lloyd went to the line 42 times but made only 27 foul shots. The Eagles led in rebounding, 48-45, and Point Park had 21 turnovers compared to 19 for Alice Lloyd.
Point Park will next play Tuesday night at Penn State Fayette. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
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