Point Park women pound Midway (Ky.) on Senior Day to tie program record for wins
Feb. 21, 2014
Forward Anna Shaw was one of five seniors celebrated in the Senior Day win over Midway. Photo by Michelle Montana.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park University Athletic Communications Student Assistant
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — The Point Park University women’s basketball team not only celebrated its Senior Night, but it also tied a program record for wins in a single season with Friday night’s 81-48 win over KIAC opponent Midway (Ky.) College.
Point Park (25-4, 12-4 KIAC) had three scorers in double figures to match last year’s 25 victories as the most in program history. The Pioneers finished 25-7 last year but still have Saturday’s regular-season finale at home to Cincinnati Christian (3 p.m.) as well as the KIAC Tournament starting Feb. 25 of which to eclipse that mark.
Freshman guard Celina DiPietro, from Bishop Canevin High School, scored 18 points, all from the 3-point line – as her six treys were just two off the team record for most in a single game.
Sophomore guard Alexa Xenakis had 15 points and four assists, and freshman center Sam Weir had her 14th double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. In addition, Kayla Kiriau had nine points and five assists while Katresa Savisky added nine points of her own.
Jasmine Johnson had 16 points for Midway (10-16, 7-9 KIAC) while Me’Lisa Martinez scored 12.
“We played together this game, we’ve really been missing that,” Savisky said as one of five Point Park seniors playing their final regular season home games this weekend.
Recently, it has been the opposing team that has started strong, but in this game, Point Park took control early and never relinquished the lead.
Midway opened the game with a press defense, something that frustrated the Pioneers in the first meeting between these two teams, a slim road win of 67-63, for Point Park Feb. 1. But the press did not work this time. Less than five minutes into the game, the Pioneers were already up by 10 points, 13-3.
Point Park later cranked the lead to 21-6 and didn’t allow Midway to reach double figures in scoring until midway through the first half.
“That was crucial, I think because it’s taken us a while to get into the swing of things,” Savisky said. “If we want to go anywhere we’re going to have to play two halves of basketball.”
The first half lead stretched to as many as 20 points and Point Park opened the game on a 21-6 run. The Pioneers settled for a 45-27 halftime lead. Point Park out-rebounded the Eagles 17-15 in the first half, however by game’s end, the edge was 46-26.
In the second half, the Pioneers built the lead as their defense held Midway to just eight field goals. Midway shot only 27 percent (8 for 29) the second half, and it was the second time in three halves that the Pioneers held their opponent to under 30-percent shooting for a half.
The 48 points given up by Point Park were the second-lowest this year beaten only by the 74-45 home win over Carlow Jan. 21.
Along with the strong defense, it was also a great night offensively with 50-percent shooting for the Pioneers. It was just the third time this year and the first time in 12 games that Point Park shot at least 50 percent from the floor. What’s more, the Pioneers made a season-high 10 3-pointers for 53 percent from long range (10 for 19).
All five seniors had the opportunity to play in this contest as Savisky, Anna-Maria Boshkova, Ashley Campbell, Teresa Davis and Anna Shaw were recognized prior to the game.
The loudest cheers in the game were given to Shaw who had her own fan section that let their presence be known.
“The soccer girls made a giant sign of my face, so that was awesome,” Shaw said.
Despite it being her second senior day, the event meant a lot for Boshkova.
“Those girls are my family, so I almost started bawling,” said Boshkova, who was also recognized at Senior Day last year before she decided to come back as a graduate student. “It’s bittersweet.”
By beating Midway, Point Park is still within reach of a share of the KIAC regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the KIAC tournament. Point Park can clinch both of those on Saturday against Cincinnati Christian. Tipoff is 3 p.m. at CCAC-South Gym.
“We have a lot to prove since the last time we played them,” Davis said. “We didn’t play very well the last time, so we have to come out and play like we did today.”
Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports