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Pioneers advance in tourney

Women's basketball dominate IU Southeast to go to conference finals

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:09

Basketball

photo by Lyddia Ankrom

Women Pioneers guard April Austin shoots the ball over a Carlow defender during a game on Saturday, Feb. 23


The last time the Point Park women’s basketball team played at Community College of Allegheny County South Campus, it lost on senior day and started a shooting funk. Despite continuing struggles, the team defeated Carlow University in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament (KIAC) quarterfinal play 54-44.

In both of the previous meetings with Carlow, Point Park emerged victorious. With a spot in the KIAC semifinals on the line, the team stepped up.

“It’s very important to come out on top because this is ‘win or go home,’ this is playoff time,” said Assistant Coach Ryenn Micaletti after the Carlow game.

The win occurred despite shooting 25.4 percent for the game and going 2 for 23 from three-point range, something that has April Austin confused.

“It’s not like we’re missing the hoop by a mile, the shots will go in and out,” said April Austin following the Carlow game. “The only way they can go in is if we keep shooting them.”

Katresa Savisky agreed, noting two weeks worth of the team being unable to put the ball into the basket.

“We have all of the open looks. We just can’t knock them down, and I think it’s really at the point where it’s a mental thing now, and we just have to get over it,” said Savisky after the Carlow game.

Before the game, senior Maura McCaslin was recognized because she was unable to attend Senior Day earlier in the season.

“It felt good just to say that I am a part of the team,” said McCaslin after the Carlow game. “I thought it was great that since I couldn’t be there on Senior Day that they still showed their appreciation.”

At the start, the Pioneers set the tempo taking an 8-0 lead. Emily Schartner led the way with six points in that stretch. She registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Carlow did not arrive to the game just to let its city rival walk all over them. It held Point Park scoreless for five and a half minutes while taking an 11-8 lead.

Anna Shaw woke up the Pioneer offense converting a layup and then making another layup on the next possession, despite a foul. She converted the foul shot for a three-point play. The Pioneers reclaimed the lead thanks to this sequence.

While the Pioneer offense struggled, the defense thrived in the first half as Carlow was held scoreless for nearly 10 minutes, but Point Park could not pull away.

After 20 minutes of play it was the Pioneers on top by a 20-17 score. Despite being on top, the Pioneers converted just 20 percent of their shots from the field, which was only slightly worse than Carlow’s 20.7 percent rate.

Austin had a first half to forget going 1 for 10 from the field and continued her scoring struggles. Despite scoring 10 points in the game, it took her 15 shots and six free throws. After addting that to five turnovers for the game, Austin was left frustrated.

“I’ve been trying to snap out of it since I started,” Austin said. “I shoot extra, get treatment on my legs because I think it’s my legs. I’ve done it all but just keep practicing. Everyone has their streaks.”

The second half saw improvements from both teams, but the Pioneers started to pull away slowly. The free throw line, which was a thorn in the team’s side lately, was good for it this game, as they shot 71.4 percent. Two free throws from Ja’Nia McPhatter gave the team a 35-25 advantage just past the midway point in the half. Three minutes later, the lead was 14 points, and it appeared that Point Park had locked up a quarterfinal berth.

This was not the case though as Carlow made one last run. Aided by a three-pointer from Heather Kaczorowski and another from Chanel Berry, the Point Park lead was down to eight points. A timeout was called, but it did not stop the Carlow momentum. Danielle Lindsey had a big three point play that cut the lead to 46-42 with 2:26 left to play in the second half.

With the game far from over and the many Carlow fans in attendance trying to pressure Point Park, the next possession was crucial. It took more than half of the shot clock for Austin to pass half court, and as the clock wore down, she found Savisky who took a shot that beat the buzzer.

“It felt good because I’ve been struggling for a lot of games lately,” Savisky said. “It felt good to get a shot when we needed it.”

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