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Point Park men open season with victory over No. 25 Siena Heights (MI)

Nov. 5, 2010

AMHERST, N.Y. – Newcomers Jimmy Sherwood and Kris Douse teamed with returner T.J. Heatherington to lead the Point Park University men’s basketball team to an 81-70 victory over No. 25 Siena Heights (Mich.) in the season opener for both teams Friday at the Lord Amherst Classic hosted by Daemen College.

BOXSCORE and PLAY BY PLAY

Sherwood, a senior guard who transferred from Duquesne Univ., scored 25 points in his Point Park debut. Douse, a 6-7, senior forward who transferred from Delaware State, added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Heatherington, a sophomore point guard who led the Pioneers with 15.9 points and 5.9 assists per game last year, added 22 points.

Point Park (1-0) won the game at the free throw line by knocking down 27 of 45 shots from the charity stripe. Siena Heights (0-1), which opened the season ranked No. 25 in the NAIA Division II preseason poll, suffered through a cold shooting night. The Saints shot 32 percent (25 of 78) overall and 17 percent (5 of 28) from 3-point range.

Sherwood led the Point Park assault from the foul line by making 16 shots in 22 attempts. The 6-2 guard from Sharon, Mass., also added eight rebounds and hit 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Sherwood was fouled three times while attempting a 3-pointer.

Heatherington scored 10 of his 22 points in the first half to lift Point Park to a 34-27 lead at the break. The 5-10 sophomore from McKeesport was 8 of 17 from the field and handed out four assists.

Douse, an athletic big man from Toronto, Ont., was 7 of 17 from the floor in picking up the first double-double of his career. His 11 rebounds helped Point Park hold a 54-49 edge on the boards. Point Park shot 40 percent (24 of 60) from the field and 38 percent (6 of 16) from long range.

The Saints made just 3 of 17 treys in the first half to fall behind. Siena Heights managed to tie the game at 53-53 midway through the second half, but Point Park was able to pull away thanks to a steady diet of foul shots and some transition buckets.

Brent Reynolds, a NAIA Division II honorable-mention All-American last year, led Siena Heights with 17 points, and the 6-2 guard hit 3 of 10 from long range. Forward Logan Matthews was the only other Saints player in double figures. He scored 11 before fouling out. 

Siena Heights returned five senior starters from last year’s team that went 22-11 overall. In their only exhibition game, which was last Saturday at Toledo, the Saints nearly pulled an upset before losing, 82-80, to the NCAA Division I team from the Mid-American Conference.

Siena Heights connected on 18 of 41 treys in the exhibition loss to Toledo, but the Saints did not have the shooting touch Friday versus Point Park. Siena Heights was picked in the preseason to finish third in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, just behind league favorites Cornerstone (NAIA Division II No. 4) and Davenport (No. 11).

Point Park will look to take its record to 2-0 in Day 2 action Saturday at the Lord Amherst Classic. Point Park plays Maine-Fort Kent, a NAIA team out of the Sunrise Conference, at 2 p.m. The Bengals took a 3-0 record into Friday’s game versus host Daemen.

Tomorrow’s game can be heard live on internet radio via WPPJ AM-670 and the MSA Sports Network. Tune in early for the pre-game show at 1:45 p.m.