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Men's Basketball News

#1 Walsh takes advantage of second-half momentum to top Point Park men

Nov. 30, 2010

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team was giving NAIA Division II #1 Walsh University all it could handle the first 25 minutes, and more precisely, it was Point Park forward Kris Douse who was carrying the Pioneers toward a possible upset bid Tuesday at CCAC-South Gymnasium.

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Pictured: Point Park's Kris Douse drives for two of his 21 points. Photo by Chelsey Engel.

But Point Park hopes for an upset all but vanished when Douse fouled out with 13:31 to play. As it turned out, Walsh (5-0, 1-0 AMC) ended up running away to a 98-83 victory in the American Mideast Conference opener for both teams, but not before Point Park (4-3, 0-1 AMC) put up a good fight with Douse leading the way.

Douse, a 6-7 forward who transferred to Point Park for his senior year after starting his career at NCAA Division I Nebraska and Delaware State, had his sixth double-double in seven games by halftime. Douse put up 17 points and 11 rebounds the first half to carry Point Park to a 42-35 halftime lead.

Point Park held a 53-52 lead when Douse picked up his fourth personal foul with 13:31 remaining. At the end of the play, Douse picked up his fifth foul via a technical, and he was disqualified. Then Walsh, which entered the game leading the nation in scoring at 106.5 ppg, took advantage of the momentum and quickly ran off a 13-3 run for a 65-56 lead with 10:29 to go.

Point Park got as close as six points, 65-59, on a three-point play by Devon Alexander with 10:06 to play, but Walsh quickly bumped the lead back to double digits, 70-59, on Lamar Skeeter's breakaway dunk at the 9:23 mark. The Cavaliers maintained the double-digit lead the rest of the way, and were up by as many as 21, 98-79, with 1:23 remaining.

Douse finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes. The Toronto, Ont., native was 7 of 10 from the field and 7 of 9 from the foul line.

Point Park guard Jimmy Sherwood, who like Douse started his career at the NCAA DI level, reached his season scoring average with 18 points. The Sharon, Mass., native started his career at nearby Duquesne Univ.

T.J. Heatherington contributed 14 points, five assists and three steals for the Pioneers. Senior guard Joel Cashatt, a native of Stockton, Calif., made his second start in a row and scored 11 points and made three treys.

Walsh came out hot from the opening tip and raced out to a 7-2 lead before two minutes were gone. But Point Park responded with a 14-0 run over the next four minutes to go ahead, 16-7. The run was keyed by three inside baskets from Douse and a pair of treys from Cashatt.

Point Park went on to lead by as many as 10 points, 36-26, with 5:26 before the half. In a very strong first 20 minutes, the Pioneers shot 56 percent (14 of 25) from the field, made 3 of 4 shots from beyond the 3-point arc and 11 of 14 from the foul line.

In the first half, Walsh shot a respectable 47 percent from the field, but the Cavs were doomed by 4 of 13 from the foul line and 3 of 12 from long range the first 20 minutes. But Walsh turned things around the second with 56 percent field goals, 15 of 21 from the line and by burying 8 of 20 from beyond the arc.

Walsh scored an impressive 63 points the second half, led by NAIA All-American point guard Jeremy Shardo, who finished with a game-high 26 points. Shardo scored 22 points and made seven 3-pointers the second half to help the Cavaliers rebound from an opening half in which they scored 35 points.

Shardo made 8 of 16 treys on the night. Leading scorer Skeeter put up 14 of his 19 points after halftime and fellow guard Eric Schiele had 10 of his 13 points the final 20 minutes. Ron Kinney had 17 points, and he kept the Cavs in the game with 11 first-half points.

Point Park is in action again Thursday for a non-conference home game versus Penn State-Fayette. Point Park is 11-0 all-time versus the Roaring Lions, including a 104-68 victory on the road Nov. 22. The Pioneers will be going for head coach Bob Rager's 300th career victory in that game.