Point Park Cannot Hold Lead In Loss


The Point Park men’s basketball team fell 79-77 to IU Southeast. Photo courtesy Stephen Pope

The Point Park men’s basketball team found itself down two points in the final seconds when junior guard Jerah’me Williams took a three point shot. The basket was attempted exactly where Alexa Xenakis had missed her potential game winning shot roughly two hours before. Much like Xenakis, Williams fell to the floor after the Pioneers lost 79-77 to KIAC opponent IU Southeast Friday.

This loss is a tough loss to swallow for Point Park (11-9, 3-4 KIAC) because it led 69-59 with 7:36 to play. These two teams have a past in which both matched each other basket for basket, however this contest took on a different playing style.

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The Pioneers were led by Williams who had 21 points and eight assists as well as senior center Alan Heter who had 21 points before fouling out. Junior forward T.J. Lanier had 18 points and seven rebounds while freshman guard Sa’iid Allen scored 11 points off the bench. Senior forward Barry Smith grabbed 13 rebounds before he fouled out.

IU Southeast (5-14, 2-6 KIAC) was led by guard Jake Simpson who scored a game high 26 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Forward Joe Jackson scored 18 points while Brandon Britt had 10 points coming off the bench.

Point Park was held scoreless for four minutes while the Grenadiers went on an 11-2 run to tie the score at 71. Smith had been guarding Simpson who came into the contest led the KIAC scoring 23.9 points per game but upon fouling out, the latter led his team’s comeback. IU Southeast regained the lead when Simpson converted a three point play with 2:26 to play. The lead remained three, 78-75, when Williams made two free throws with 11 seconds to play.

Simpson was then fouled and split free throws before Williams missed the game winning three at the buzzer. Point Park did have 17 assists and minimized the turnovers with three, however it shot 37 percent from the field and 21 percent from three point range, which in a run and gun style offense does not win many games.

IU Southeast led 42-40 at halftime which included a 10-2 scoring run that opened the game which was fueled by Jackson who recorded 14 of his 18 points in the opening 20 minutes.


Point Park will next face Carlow Tuesday with the game scheduled to begin at 6 pm.

My take– This is a very disappointing loss for the men’s team. To be have such a quick style of play, and go scoreless for four minutes is unacceptable and the Pioneers have to close games better than that. Despite this setback, Point Park is in second place in the KIAC North Division which means if the season ended now, it would host a first round playoff game, its first since the 2007-08 season. There is a lot to like about the starters on the floor, and this is a team that almost entirely relies on its starters, but smarter decisions need to be made and this game is one the Pioneers let get away.

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