Point Park beats Madonna (Mich.) in matchup of NAIA DII 'receiving votes' teams
Nov. 2, 2013 at 6:45 p.m. ET
Katresa Savisky had 19 points to lead the Pioneers to a 77-74 win over Madonna (Mich.). Photo by Evan Skowvron.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
MCKEESPORT, Pa. -- The Point Park University women’s basketball team withstood a 20-4 run in the second half from Madonna (Mich.) University on Saturday and held on to pick up a big, NAIA win, 77-74, in a game played at Penn State-Greater Allegheny’s Wunderley Gymnasium.
In a matchup of two teams that are both among the ‘others receiving votes’ schools of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll, it was Point Park that came out on top to stay unbeaten. Madonna, which was 20-11 last year, is rated No. 32 overall in NAIA Division II while Point Park comes in at No. 39 in the preseason poll.
Point Park (2-0) had four starters in double figures led by senior Katresa Savisky with 19 points. Freshman forward Carly Forse had 17 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out in the second half.
Senior Teresa Davis totaled 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals, and freshman guard Celina DiPietro chipped in 10 points on 2 of 3 from 3-point range.
Madonna (1-0) also had four starters in double figured including guard/forward Rachel Melcher with a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Guard Chelsea Williams had 17 points and nine rebounds.
After 20 minutes of play, Point Park took a 39-34 advantage into the locker room. The Pioneers shot 44.1 percent from the field and forced 14 turnovers the first half. Madonna had a 25-20 rebound advantage in the opening 20 minutes.
Point Park started the second half on an 8-2 run for a 47-36 lead, which forced a Madonna timeout. Point Park then built the lead to 56-40 with 13:29 left. What followed was a 20-4 run by Madonna to tie the game at 60 with 8:30 to play. This forced Point park coach Tony Grenek to use a 30-second timeout.
Madonna took its first lead of the half, 63-62, with 6:28 remaining when Carrie Kloster hit a 3-pointer.
From there, the game went back and forth and came down to free throws. Down 65-64, Point Park got to the line and made four free throws, which helped open up a 70-66 lead.
Point Park had its issues from the free throw line in the second half, however made the shots when it mattered. The Pioneers shot only 57 percent from the line in the game (16 for 28), including 11 for 18 in the second half.
Point Park led by as many as six in the final minutes, however, Madonna stayed in the game with a couple of late 3-pointers. First, Tori Duffey hit from downtown to cut Point Park’s lead to 74-71 with 15 seconds left. Point Park’s Haley Sauer then made 1 of 2 free throws for a 75-71 lead.
The Point Park lead went down to one when Madonna's Justice Dean nailed a 3-point with 8 seconds left to make it 75-74. But Savisky knocked down two free throws at the other end to seal the win, 77-74.
“When Madonna came back and took the lead, they (Point Park) didn’t pack it up and quit,” Grenek said. “I thought we fought hard and did it with a lot of young kids on the floor.”
The game was called tightly in the second half, and there were a combined five players who fouled out between the teams. There were a total of 55 fouls and 58 free throws. Point Park had three starters foul out – Forse, DiPietro and Kayla Kiriau – and Savisky had four fouls.
The victory was the 50th of Grenek’s career. Grenek is in his third season with the Pioneers after previously serving as a women's assistant at Seton Hill and head men’s basketball coach at Butler Community College. Point Park is 50-14 since Grenek took over before the 2011-12 season.
Point Park’s next game is Saturday when it travels to face Mount Vernon Nazarene. The game will tip-off at 5 p.m.