No. 1 seed Point Park pulls away from No. 8 seed Brescia in KIAC 1st Rd
Feb. 25, 2014
Alexa Xenakis had 15 points in the Point Park win over Brescia in the KIAC Tournament First Round
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — The top seeded Point Park University women’s basketball team defeated Brescia (Ky.) 98-78 in the KIAC Tournament first round Tuesday night at CCAC-South Gym.
Junior guard Haley Sauer came off the bench to lead Point Park (27-4, 13-4 KIAC) with 19 points, nine of which came from the free throw line, where she was 9 for 12.
A total of five players reached double figures for the Pioneers with Alexa Xenakis , Sam Weir , Carly Forse  and Kayla Kiriau  joining Sauer.
Olivia Moore had 26 points and eight rebounds for Brescia (8-22, 5-12 KIAC) while Julie Whitfill added 21 points.
“I don’t know, I can see that I can’t shoot the three, but I can shoot the midrange, and I’m all about fast breaks,” Sauer said of her recent success. “Once I have that flow and energy, I’m ready to go.”
Xenakis opened the game’s scoring with a 3-point shot, however, Morgan Wimburg countered with one of her own, and it sent Brescia on its way to a great start to the game.
The Bearcats opened up a 28-18 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half. This was in large part because the Pioneers did not have an answer for Moore, who went to work in the post for 13 early points. Moore made her first five shots from the field.
Point Park adjusted with double teams on Moore, and it resulted in a 19-4 run allowing for the Pioneers to take the lead 37-32 almost most minutes later. After Brescia’s 28-18 lead, Point Park scored 32 of the final 40 points in the first half leading 50-36 at the break.
While Brescia shot 51.6 percent from the field in the first half, but Point Park topped that shooting 62.5 percent (20 for 32) the first 20 minutes.
“We went in with a lot of energy and wanted to come out strong and we didn’t start out strong, but we knew at halftime we need to come out stronger,” Sauer said.
In the second half, Point Park continued to hold the lead, and Brescia started fouling Point Park hoping for some free-throw misses. With Point Park up 75-55 with 9:34 to play, Brescia employed a strategy of fouling Point Park players, many times before the ball was across half court.
The main target was Sauer, who went 9 for 12 from the free throw line, thwarting this strategy. As a team, Point Park was 27 for 36 (75 percent) from the foul line and were 21 for 29 the second half.
With the increase in fouls and the Pioneers enjoying a comfortable lead, the starters were subbed out after playing about eight minutes each in the second half. All 14 players that dressed played and 13 scored.
Point Park will play No. 5 seed Berea (Ky.), a 74-71 winner at No. 4 seed IU Southeast, in the KIAC Tournament semifinals on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The game will be played at Alice Lloyd (Ky.), the host o the KIAC Tournament Final Four. Berea has won both games against Point Park and handed the Pioneers their first loss of the season following a 14-0 start.
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