Basketball playoff spots are up in the air


Temperance Moore

Sophomore forward Levi Masua on offense makes a layup in practice last week as junior forward A.J. Leahey defends.

Emily Moore, Staff Writer

The Pitt-Johnstown men’s basketball team has to win two of the next six games to secure a playoff spot.

Sophomore forwards Levi Masua and Roshon Fields both give credit to the offense for working hard and staying consistent every game.

Fields said it will be an interesting next few games, but the team plans to work hard and push through to playoffs. 

“We’ve been stepping up on offense and staying out of foul trouble, which has really helped us win lately,” Fields said.

Masua said head coach Bob Rukovina added some new drills in practice to keep the team hustling this late in the season.

The Mountain Cats lost in overtime 80-79 to Gannon University on Feb.6.

The men’s basketball team is 10-7 in conference play and 14-8 overall.

The Pitt-Johnstown women’s basketball team must overcome some challenges to make it to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoffs at the end of the month with a conference record of 4-13 and 7-16 overall.

The Lady Cats have suffered a six-game losing streak since their win against Indiana (Pa.) University on Jan. 13, where the Lady Cats came out victorious over the Crimson Hawks 87-86 in overtime.

Senior guard Dominque Smith said they have a plan as a team to become better to finish the season.

“We need to remain positive and play together as a team again,” Smith said.

To improve, Smith said that the team must get back to the basics and play like they did at the beginning of the season.

“We lost our way a bit, and we are striving to get back to how we were before,” Smith said.

What changed between the first few games and now, according to Smith, was finishing games strong.

“We tend to play hard and let the games slip away from us in the final few minutes; our goal for the remainder of the season is to stay strong and try to win the rest of our games.”

According to senior forward Jasmine Harper, the team needs a little push to win the remainder of the games.

“We are really focusing on playing with intensity and heart to outwork our remaining opponents,” Harper said.

To make it to the conference playoffs, the Lady Cats will need to win all of their remaining games and hope for a couple teams ahead of them in the conferences Western Division to lose.

“We have to put all of our trust and faith in younger players to step up and take on big roles on the team,” Harper said.

The Lady Cats fell short to Gannon University Feb. 6, suffering a 84-54 loss.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams go against Edinboro University and Mercyhurst University, along with Clarion University and Slippery Rock University to close out conference play.

The Pitt-Johnstown men’s and women’s baskebtall teams have a double-header at Indiana (Pa.) University. on Feb. 17.