Point Park stays unbeaten at 8-0 with road victory at Wilberforce, 77-68
Nov. 25, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Samantha Weir had another double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds. Photo by Evan Schall.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
WILBERFORCE, Ohio -- Despite trailing for most of the first half and parts of the second half, the Point Park University women's basketball team defeated Wilberforce, 77-68, on the road Monday evening to stay unbeaten and improve to 8-0 on the year.
Samantha Weir led the way for Point Park with 20 points and 12 rebounds --- a double-double in addition to four blocks. Katresa Savisky made a return to the starting lineup and finished with 16 points, all in the second half.
Kendra Moss had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Wilberforce (1-8). Brittani Thomas also had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who trailed, 41-36, at the half despite holding a lead for much of the first 20 minutes.
Point Park struggled early to get into a rhythm on offense, which led to numerous missed baskets and opportunities for plays to materialize. The Pioneers did shoot 41 percent from the floor the first half – and 42 percent for the game – but it made only 2 of 10 treys and 3 of 9 free throws before halftime.
Weir, a 6-0 center, was a key cog in the Pioneers’ first-half offense with 14 points of her 20 points. Wilberforce made 10 first-half free throws to keep itself in the game.
In the second half, Wilberforce came out and quickly tied the game. Much of the final 20 minutes went back and forth with Point Park leading by three points most of the way.
Savisky – who started for the first time since Nov. 2 and was back in action for just her second game after missing the previous four due to injury -- played a vital role in the second half. She at one point scored 14 points in a row for the Pioneers.
The Point Park defense held Wilberforce to 30-percent shooting and forced 25 turnovers. Still, the Bulldogs stayed in the game, mainly due to free-throw shooting. Wilberforce was 19 of 28 from the line, whereas Point Park was just 7 of 16.
What’s more, Wilberforce got many offensive rebounds on missed free throws with Moss – the tallest player on the court – getting eight offensive rebounds herself. That led to extra opportunities. Point Park gave up 20 offensive rebounds for the second game in a row and was out-rebounded, 58-48.
As a result, Point Park struggled to finish off Wilberforce, unable to get the key shot to fall. The Pioneers were 0 for 5 from 3-point range the second half and 2 for 15 for the game.
Up by three points with 2:00 to play, Sauer brought the ball up and upon surveying the court, found Savisky wide open under the basket thanks to a well executed back door cut. The lay-up gave Point Park a 72-67 lead.
"I saw Katresa open and made the pass so she could make the easy lay-in, Sauer said. "I was just trying to get ahead before it was too late."
Sauer then connected again to put the game out of reach as Point Park ended the game on a 7-1 run.
Weir’s double-double was her fourth of the year. Teresa Davis chipped in nine points, and Sauer and Alexa Xenakis had seven each. The Pioneers had 15 players see action, and 10 of them scored.
The Pioneers now have the rest of the week off before a rematch with Wilberforce at CCAC South on Dec. 5.
Point Park continued its best start in school history in bumping the record up to 8-0. The Pioneers have reached Thanksgiving undefeated for the first time ever. The Pioneers are one of only seven undefeated teams remaining in NAIA Division II women’s basketball.
The 8-0 mark is currently second-best in the nation. The group of undefeated teams includes NAIA DII preseason No. 7 Northwestern (Iowa) (9-0) and preseason No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan (6-0), who have combined for the last four national championships. No. 4 St. Francis (Ind.) is 7-0.
Point Park was listed in the ‘others receiving votes’ section of the NAIA DII Top 25 preseason poll at No. 39 overall. The first Top 25 poll of the regular season comes out Dec. 3.
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