No. 21 Point Park keeps it rolling at 12-0 with home win over MVNU, 65-57
Dec. 19, 2013 at 10:20 p.m. ET
Katresa Savisky scored 12 points in the win over Mt. Vernon Nazarene. Photo by Michelle Montana.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
WEST MIFFLIN, PA—The No. 21-ranked Point Park University women’s basketball team kept its undefeated record intact after defeating Mount Vernon Nazarene, 65-57, Thursday afternoon at CCAC-South Gym.
Point Park’s record now stands at 12-0 overall and 2-0 in the KIAC with the non-conference win. The Pioneers are one win shy of tying the school record for consecutive wins of 13 set during the 2011-12 season. Point Park is one of only four undefeated teams left in NAIA Division II.
Sam Weir led the way for the Pioneers with 16 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks, while Katresa Savisky and Alexa Xenakis scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Carly Forse had 8 points and 10 rebounds.
It was the seventh double-double in 12 games for Weir, a 6-0, freshman center from Ellwood City, Pa., who is now averaging 15.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game
Kate Walls led all scorers with 18 points, which included five 3-pointers, for Mt. Vernon Nazarene (1-10, 0-3). The Cougars’ 6-0 center Megan Beidelman had 18 points, 12 of which were scored in the first half.
“We haven’t had a close game in a while,” Xenakis said. “This game kind of made us learn how to react in situations where we can possibly lose. I even heard people on the bench say that they were scared about this game. We needed that, so it actually pushed us and prepared us for the rest of the season.”
A key to the game was at the free throw line, where Point Park shot 71.4 percent (20 for 28), while the Cougars shot 47.1 percent (8 for 17). In addition, the Pioneers’ defense forced 26 turnovers and had 16 steals.
Mount Vernon Nazarene led early on, 14-10, however, Point Park went on a 20-4 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 30-18, with 4:36 left in the first half. Teresa Davis sparked the end of the run with a 3-pointer and a transition jumper. Xenakis finished off the spurt with one of her two 3-pointers for the 12-point lead.
Point Park went on to take a 36-26 lead at the half while shooting 46.7 percent the first 20 minutes. MVNU committed 15 of its 26 turnovers the first half to fall behind by 10.
In the second half, the Cougars made a defensive switch, and the Pioneers had issues on offense. With 9:09 remaining, Mt. Vernon Nazarene led, 48-47 – its first lead since the 12:09 mark in the first half.
Point Park struggled shooting the second half making only 24 percent (7 of 29) of its field goals overall, which included 0 for 7 from long range. The Point Park offense did get going late thanks to getting it to Weir and making free throws.
Point Park went ahead, 49-48, on a jumper by Weir with 8:41 left. Then MVNU inched ahead, 50-49, when Beidelman made a layup on the Cougars’ next possession, and that’s when things got stagnant for both teams.
Neither the Pioneers nor the Cougars made a field goal for more than four minutes as Point Park clung to a 52-50 lead. A jumper by Xenakis ended the drought for a 54-51, Point Park advantage at the 3:44 mark.
The advantage stretched to five when point guard Kayla Kiriau penetrated and found Weir for layup and a 58-53 edge with 2:44 left. On the Cougars next possession, Weir had two blocks, a momentum shift in the game that kept the Pioneers ahead.
MVNU did get as close as 60-57 as Walls made 2 of 3 free throws – she was fouled on a 3-point attempt – with 55 seconds remaining. And although Xenakis missed the second of two free throws on the other end, Weir grabbed the offensive rebound for Point Park, ending any hope for the Cougars with 36 seconds left.
Point Park closed the game at the free throw line making five free throws in the final minute to secure the victory. The Pioneers were 15 of 22 from the foul line the second half, which added a lot to the offense that was cold from the floor.
Point Park shot 36 percent for the game, and it was just the third time in 12 games that the Pioneers shot under 40 percent. But the Pioneers made up for it on defense with one of its lowest point totals given up on the year of 57 points.
In the contest, Davis scored her 500th career point. Davis, a 5-foot-6 senior guard/forward from Vermillion, OH, started 30 out of the team’s 32 games last season and 9 of 12 thus far this season, while playing a reserve role in her first two seasons.
Point Park will now break for the holidays. Its next game is Jan. 4 at KIAC foe Indiana University Southeast. The Pioneers won all three match-ups last season with the Grenadiers, and this is the first KIAC road trip of the season. A victory would mean tying the school record for consecutive wins of 13 set in the 2011-12 season.
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