Point Park men win at Houghton, 83-61, clinch AMC playoff spot
Feb. 4, 2012
Devon Alexander had 18 points on Saturday to give him 908 for his career. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
HOUGHTON, N.Y. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team used a 17-0 run to take control midway through the first half and cruised to an 83-61, American Mideast Conference victory at Houghton College on Saturday.
With the win, Point Park (11-9, 4-4 AMC) guarantees itself one of the four AMC playoffs spots in the six-team league.
Houghton (8-15, 1-8 AMC) led, 13-8, after five minutes, but Point Park scored the next 17 points to go ahead, 25-13, at the 11:28 mark.
T.J. Heatherington, the NAIA Division II scoring leader, had a game-high 28 points, five assists and three steals. The 5-10, junior point guard from McKeesport, Pa., was 10 of 19 from the field and 7 of 9 from the foul line.
Devon Alexander, a 6-5 forward, added 18 points and five rebounds. Alexander, a senior, and Heatherington each had 13 points by halftime as the Pioneers were ahead, 42-33, at the break.
Asa Braxton, a 6-2 junior from Pittsburgh, Pa., and Hampton High School, totaled 15 points on 5 of 9 from the field and 4 of 7 from long range. The guard/forward who transferred to Point Park this year, started in place of Robbie Heatherington, who did not make the trip due to illness.
Point Park's 17-0, first-half run started with a couple of buckets from Eric Johnson, followed by a 3-pointer and two layups by Heatherington. Then Jimmy Taylor nailed two 3-pointers to finish off the spurt. Taylor had all eight of his points the first half.
Houghton got within 42-39 with 18:55 remaining, but the Pioneers squashed the Highlanders' hopes very soon after. Braxton nailed a trey to get the lead back up to double-digits, 49-39. Two minutes later, Heatherington completed the 14-1 run with a couple of layups to push the lead to 56-40 with 15:52 left.
Houghton at one point had the deficit down to 12 points, 60-48, at the 13:59 mark, but Point Park extended things to 72-52 with 7:36 left.
Point Park shot 48 percent from the field and 42 percent (8 of 19) from long range. Houghton was limited to 37 percent overall and 21 percent (4 of 19) from distance. The Highlanders led in rebounding, 42-37, but lost the turnover battle, 21-13. Dante Anglin had 10 rebounds for Point Park.
Mike Munoz had 19 points to lead Houghton, three above his average. Chris Confair, who averages 15 ppg, was held to seven points on 2 of 9 from the field.
The 61 points given up by Point Park are the fewest in an AMC game this year. The previous low in an AMC game had been the 91-70, home win over Houghton Jan. 17. The only times that the Pioneers gave up fewer points this season were in wins over Penn State-Fayette (119-58 and 104-56).
Point Park has four games remaining with all of the coming in AMC play. The Pioneers visit Walsh on Tuesday (8 p.m.).
Explaination of Point Park clinching an AMC playoff spot:
The Pioneers are 4-3 in the adjusted AMC standings that don't include results versus non-playoff eligible Walsh. Fifth-place Houghton (8-15, 1-8 AMC) is 1-6 in the adjusted standings that don't include games versus Walsh.
Houghton can be at best 4-6 in the adjusted AMC standings. Point Park has four games remaining, starting with Tuesday's date at Walsh. If Point Park were to lose its three games after the Walsh game, it would be 4-6 in the adjusted AMC standings that don't include results versus Walsh. Even in that scenario, Point Park has the edge over Houghton by virtue of winning the season series, 2-0.