Franklin Regional grad contributed in 1st season with Point Park women's basketball
Franklin Regional graduate Baylee Buleca found herself in the mix this season for the nationally ranked Point Park women's basketball team.
The 6-foot freshman center played in 28 of 30 games this season and made three starts for the Pioneers, who finished 25-5 overall and were 11-3 in the Keystone Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The team made a run to the conference semifinals.
The loss in the semifinals denied Point Park an automatic berth to the NAIA Division II national tournament, and they weren't able to secure an at-large bid.
“I learned a lot more than I thought I would this year,” Buleca said.
“The group of girls were great. The record we had this year is unbelievable, and I am happy with that.”
Buleca averaged 3.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, shot 47.6 percent from the field, had 12 blocks and made 12 steals.
She made her first start of the season against Washington Adventist from Maryland, and she had four points and three rebounds in a 65-42 Point Park victory.
It was the first game without starting forward Sam Wier, who missed the final 24 games of the season with a knee injury.
“When we first learned about Sam's injury, we weren't sure who would take her position,” Buleca said. “I was a little nervous for my first start. I was still learning the ropes. My teammates worked with me and encouraged me. They had confidence in me that I could do the job.”
Buleca started the Feb. 18 conference matchup against Carlow at CCAC South and produced four points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 21 minutes of game action.
“I got more and more comfortable as the season went on,” Buleca said.
“It's a much faster pace than in high school. I've learned to play with the shot clock.”
Buleca had six points and three rebounds in seven minutes off the bench at Indiana University-Kokomo four days before the Carlow contest.
She had a team-best seven rebounds in Point Park's 71-38 rout of Penn State-Fayette on Dec. 9.
“Whatever the coach wanted my role to be, I had to be ready for it,” Buleca said. “That was important for everyone this year. I wanted to be ready to step up when called upon.
Michael Love is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.