Point Park wins share of KIAC Regular Season title, claims No. 1 KIAC seed with win
Feb. 22, 2014
Head coach Tony Grenek and the Pioneers discuss strategy in the second half on Saturday vs. CCU.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. – The Point Park University women’s basketball team clinched a share of the KIAC regular season title and the KIAC Tournament No. 1 with with its 75-65 victory Saturday against Cincinnati Christian at CCAC-South Gym.
Point Park (26-4, 13-4 KIAC) ends it regular season with a team record for most wins in a single season and also due to tiebreaker rules will be the top seed in the KIAC Tournament. The 13 conference wins are also a program record.
Leading the way for the Pioneers was Sam Weir who had 23 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Weir was one of four Pioneers to score in double figures. Joining her was Alexa Xenakis (14 points and four assists), Katresa Savisky (13 points and six rebounds) and Haley Sauer (13 points and four rebounds). Carly Forse also contributed with her eight rebounds.
Cincinnati Christian (12-17, 7-10 KIAC) was led by Amanda Baute’s 21 points and six rebounds while Sydney Mason had 14 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought Haley (Sauer) was incredible today, she made some tremendous passes,” said Point Park coach Tony Grenek. “She really made some key shots, pushed the ball up in transition and I don’t think we win that game if she wasn’t on hers today. I’m just proud of her, when we needed someone to step up when we were struggling, she was that person.”
Much like Friday’s win against Midway, Point Park had a strong start to open the game taking a 13-3 lead, however Cincinnati Christian, coming off a win Friday at Carlow, stormed back with a 12-2 run to tie the game at 15-15. The Eagles came all the way back to take their first lead of 20-19 at the 7:29 mark.
Both teams were in foul trouble in the first half to reach the double bonus at the free-throw line. A total of 23 fouls and 29 free throws were attempted in the first half alone. A combined 21 free throws were made with CCU’s offense getting a huge benefit of going 13 for 17 from the foul line the opening 20 minutes.
Point Park led 33-28 with 2:30 to play in the first half, although the Eagles went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at halftime, 33-33.
Toward the middle of the second half, Point Park started to find some momentum as Xenakis hit a 3-point shot to build the lead to six, 46-40 with 13:43 left. Point Park maintained a lead of a couple of possessions the next several minutes before putting on a 10-2 run for their biggest lead of the game, 66-53 with 5:53 left. Sauer fed Teresa Davis for a transition layup and then hit a jumper to cap the spurt as Point Park got some separation in what was a close game.
The Eagles would make one last run cutting the deficit to five points, 66-61, with 3:27 to go, however Weir made an unlikely 3-pointer, just the second one in five attempts for the 6-0 center this season. Sauer and Savisky then went a combined 6 for 6 from the free throw line to seal the victory and lock up the top seed.
“It’s been really tough, especially going to Kentucky for four out of the six weekends,” Weir said on the season. “There’s a lot of stuff we’ve had to overcome, but we’re a good team and we got it done.”
The Pioneers will host Brescia University Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the KIAC Tournament first round. Should the Pioneers win they will travel to Alice Lloyd (Ky.), which hosts both the semifinals and finals, Feb. 28 and March 1.
“I don’t know if any other team gets the support like we do,” Weir said of the Pioneers’ fans. “We’re so thankful for them. With Brescia, we’re going to prepare and play our game.”