Point Park Women Ranked Once Again


Guard Shaniya Rivers and the Point Park Pioneers return to the NAIA D-II Top 25 poll this week tying for 23rd. Photo courtesy Zachary Weiss

The Point Park University women’s basketball team finds itself back in the NAIA D-II poll ranking in a tie for 23rd with Madonna and is ranked for the first time in three weeks.

Point Park has won 14 of its past 15 games and is 19-2 overall while owning a 6-1 KIAC record which is tied for the best record in the North Division with Rio Grande however the Pioneers defeated the Red Storm 74-70 earlier this season.

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“We are pleased to be ranked again, but we have a lot of work ahead of us and that’s what we are focusing on,” coach Tony Grenek said.

The Pioneers went 3-0 this past week defeating Cincinnati Christian 70-54 at home and then winning against Brescia 94-78, and Midway 77-69, both on the road.

This season, Point Park ranks in the top-10 in a variety of statistics. It is third in both turnover margin (8.952) and three point defense (.233), places sixth in total steals (278), scoring offense per game (82.857) and assist/turnover ratio (1.137). Additionally, the Pioneers place eighth in steals per game (13.238) and 10th in defensive rebounds per game (31.143) at total scoring offense (1,740 points). Sophomore guard Kelly Johnson in fifth in NAIA D-II with 75 total steals and sixth in steals per game at 3.571.

Point Park will next face IU Southeast Friday at 5:30 pm. If the Pioneers win the game it will mark the fourth consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins, all of which have come under Grenek. The Grenadiers lost its most recent match Tuesday to IU East 93-74 and fell to 14-7 overall with a 5-2 KIAC record. They are tied with Midway for first place in the KIAC South Division. Earlier this season IU Southeast defeated then fifth ranked (now sixth ranked) Indiana Wesleyan 70-62.

My take: This was a week too late. After the teams around it lost in the rankings, Point Park was due to move in at 25th or 24th and instead was placed 26th. Even now tying for 23rd is unacceptable because Point Park defeated Madonna earlier this season on the road by 19 points. Apparently all of a sudden that does not matter because conference politics trump actual results. Recent history has Point Park making the NAIA National Tournament the past three years while Madonna missed last season. This again is a case of the KIAC being perceived weak overall which is further from the truth in 2014-15. When you are 19-2 overall and teams in front of you have six or seven losses, there is no excuse for that regardless of how strong the team has been historically. It’s time to wake up, look at the actual results, do not play favorites and take your ratings seriously.

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