Point Park women win KIAC road game at Cincinnati Christian, 66-64
Jan. 31, 2014
Sam Weir had 12 points and winning basket at Cincinnati Christian. Photo by Michelle Montana.
By Zachary Weiss Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
Cincinnati, Ohio — The Point Park University women’s basketball team outscored KIAC foe Cincinnati Christian in the final two minutes to win, 66-64, on Friday night.
Sam Weir put in a layup with 15 seconds left for the winning basket and a 65-64 lead. The freshman from Ellwood City, Pa., scored all 12 of her points in the second half and grabbed eight rebounds.
Alexa Xenakis had a team-high 13 points for Point Park (21-2, 8-2 KIAC) with all of those coming in the first half. Carly Forse added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Cincinnati Christian (9-13, 5-6 KIAC) was led by Amanda Baute, who totaled 24 points and 16 rebounds. Hailey Wales added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
“On the road for a conference game, any victory is good,” Point Park head coach Tony Grenek said. “Winning on the road is very hard to do, and we were very fortunate to win, although we made a lot of mistakes and did not play particularly well.”
Both teams had issues hanging onto the basketball with combining for 42 turnovers versus 17 assists.
Point Park trailed early on, 8-2, before picking up the pace. The early deficit was a result of the inability to grab rebounds.
Cincinnati Christian was able to capitalize on offensive rebounds with second-chance points. Cincinnati Christian out-rebounded Point Park, 40-39, for the game, but the rebound disparity seemed bigger since the Eagles were able to keep it close all night thanks to getting on the boards.
Both Xenakis and Sauer were key cogs to the Pioneers' first-half offense scoring 21 of the team’s 36 first half points. Sauer made four of her five first half shots from the field. Sauer fished with eight points as both she and Xenakis did all of their scoring in the first half. Xenakis made three treys the first 20 minutes.
Neither team was able to get to the free-throw line in the first half with the Pioneers taking and making one free throw and the Eagles making 4 of 6.
Point Park created a little separation when Baute picked up her second foul, however, when she came back in, the lead was dwindled down. Point Park led 36-33 at halftime. Baute scored 14 of her 24 points the first 20 minutes.
The Pioneers hit a high point midway through the second half. Kayla Kiriau stole an inbounds pass and went in for a score to build a lead of six points. Point Park led by as many as nine points, 49-40, with 10 minutes left.
But Point Park got in major foul trouble with three starters having more than three fouls, and Cincinnati Christian made a run once again to tie the game in the last four minutes. This was when Weir became an offensive factor, and with more touches in the second half, it resulted in quick points. Still, with 2:02 left, Cincinnati Christian led, 62-61.
Weir then made two free throws to allow Point Park to retake the lead, 63-62, with less than two minutes left.
Point Park held on to the one-point lead thanks to CCU missing four straight free throws. The Eagles were 12 for 20 from the line in the second half and 16 of 26 for the game. When they missed the fourth free throw in a row, they got the offensive rebound, which led to two more free throws. Those free throws were good for a 64-63 lead with 29.5 seconds left.
Once again, Point Park had the ball in its hands in a late-game scenario, and Kiriau found Weir for a layup with 15.4 seconds remaining for a 65-64 lead. Cincinnati Christian missed a shot at the other end, and Katresa Savisky grabbed a crucial rebound for the Pioneers with 0.3 to play. Savisky was fouled on the play and made three first free throw but missed the second to run out the clock since CCU had no timeouts.
“There’s certain things you decide to do in certain settings, and we executed on most of those and got to the free throw line,” Cincinnati Christian head coach Joshua Snyder said. "We just came up short late, and we’ll just work on getting better late.”
With this win, the Pioneers have won three close KIAC contests with victories at Indiana University Southeast and last Saturday at home versus Asbury. And while Grenek thinks the close wins will help the team, he stated that he would take wins however he got them.
“We got very lucky, they missed four foul shots towards the end, which is rare for them, but one of our philosophies is to use our depth to wear teams down,” Grenek said. “A lot of times foul shots are missed at the end because of tired legs. We’re very fortunate that those foul shots were missed, the breaks went our way for the game.”
Point Park will face KIAC foe Midway Saturday at 2 p.m. in the second of three consecutive road games. The Pioneers will play St. Louis College of Pharmacy at neutral site Midway on Sunday at 11 a.m.