The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point took down Finlandia University 72-39, and then dominated over Alverno College the next day, winning 70-43 in the 2011 Pointer Tip- Off Classic.
The four-team tournament also included UW-Oshkosh, who beat Alverno 56-37, and Finlandia 68-49. Finlandia and Alverno did not face each other in the tournament but faced off the following Tuesday with an Alverno victory, 63-59.
Point was able to force 34 Finlandia turnovers while only committing ten. Senior center Ashley Averkamp led the way with 18 points.
"From last year to this year, our free throw percentage is better and we all intend to continue to get better to fulfill our goals for this season," said Brittni Buechel, senior post.
Point also out-rebounded Finlandia, grabbing 39 total rebounds (22 offensive) compared to 10 offensive boards for the Lions.
"Our coaches are really emphasizing the importance of rebounding. Rebounding has been a weakness for the program the last couple of years, so we are being encouraged to box out and crash the offensive glass," said Cassie Bandow, senior guard.
In the second game of the 2011 Pointer Tip-Off Classic, Point shot nearly 48 percent in their 70-43 win. Sophomore guard Alyssa Olp led the way with 12 points, sinking six of seven from the floor.
The Pointer defense stepped up again, forcing 27 turnovers.
"While we lost three seniors who played a huge role in our success last season, we have found a way to fill the voids and win basketball games," Bandow said.
Bandow is in her fourth season on the team, starting 28 games the last two seasons and gaining honorable mention both years. Bandow and Averkamp share captain status of the team this season and so far are yet to surrender a loss.
Following the Tip-Off Classic, Point faced off against Millikin University. The Pointers took advantage of 22 turnovers en route to a 66-45 victory over the Big Blue. Point held Millikin to less than 29 percent shooting.
"From the beginning our team has worked hard, and is continuing to improve. We take pride in our defense and have been able to hold our opponents to a low shooting percentage," Bandow said.
The girls followed that victory by rolling over Elmhurst 65-48. Junior guard Sam Barber led the Pointers in scoring with 14 points. Bandow and sophomore post Myranda Tyler followed with 11 each.
Point takes the court Saturday in the Berg Gym where the team will recognize Alumni Day. The Pointers tip off against UW-Superior at 3:00 p.m.