Point Park beats Cedarville in OT with two starters out with injuries
Jan. 15, 2011
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. – Despite being without the services of starting guards and leading scorers Jimmy Sherwood and T.J. Heatherington, the Point Park University men’s basketball team gutted out a 99-93, overtime victory over visiting Cedarville University in an American Mideast Conference game Saturday at CCAC-South Gymnasium.
Sherwood, a senior guard who leads the team at 17.2 points per game, missed his first contest of the year with an upper body injury he suffered midway through Tuesday’s loss at Daemen. Meanwhile, sophomore point guard Heatherington tweaked his knee on Point Park’s first offensive possession on Saturday, and was lost for the final 39 minutes.
But Point Park improved to 9-4 overall and 3-2 in the AMC by having four players in double figures and holding off several rallies by Cedarville (10-9, 5-3 AMC), which was receiving votes in Monday’s edition of the NAIA Division II Top 25 poll.
The win moves Point Park head coach Bob Rager to within one victory of tying his predecessor, Jerry Conboy, for the all-time lead in coaching wins at the school. Rager, in his 22nd season at his alma, has 304 career wins entering Tuesday’s AMC home game versus Roberts Wesleyan.
Joel Cashatt, a senior guard who has started the last six games, led the Pioneers with 21 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds. The 5-10 native of Stockton, Calif., made four 3-pointers, including one to put Point Park ahead, 91-88, late in the overtime period. His two free throws gave the Pioneers a 95-90 lead with 22 seconds left.
Point Park senior forward Kris Douse, the NAIA Division II rebounding leader, turned in his 11th double-double in 13 games with 19 points and 10 boards. The 6-7 transfer from Delaware State is averaging 15.3 ppg and 13.1 rpg.
Starting in place of Sherwood, senior guard Josh Trocchio, a North Hills, Pa., native, totaled 18 points. Trocchio made 5 of 10 3-pointers to lead a Point Park perimeter attack that made 10 of 28 shots from long range.
Also stepping up to fill the void of the lost starters was freshman guard Robbie Heatherington, who scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and overtime. The Serra Catholic grad made 7 of 9 free throws, which helped Point Park seal the game late.
The Pioneers got a combined 17 points and seven rebounds from the position shared by junior forwards Dante Anglin and Devon Alexander. Anglin, from North Hills, came alive for eight points and five rebounds in making several key plays down the stretch. Anglin’s layup gave Point Park a 61-51 lead with 11:46 to go. Alexander, from McKeesport, made good on a Cashatt assist with his bucket that made it 75-69 with 4:57 left.
Freshman forward Josh Pohlot played only 11 minutes, but the Belle Vernon native scored two key baskets late in regulation. After Cedarville cut it to 77-73, Pohlot scored on a putback and a short jumper to put the Pioneers in front, 83-75, with 1:59 to go.
But Cedarville made two 3-pointers in the final two minutes to force overtime. Austin Foote’s trey tied things up at 83-83 with 10 seconds left. Point Park set up a play in a timeout, but Robbie Heatherington missed a jumper at the top of the key as time expired.
The overtime period started with a jumper from Cashatt and a trey by Trocchio, but Cedarville kept pace as the score was 88-88 with 2:16 left. Cashatt’s key 3-pointer came on the next possession, and the Pioneers iced the game by making 8 of 10 free throws from that point on.
Both teams shot 47 percent from the field, and Cedarville held a rebounding edge of 47-46. The Yellow Jackets made 17 of 47 3-pointers, which was good for 36 percent. Leading scorer Matt Harner had 32 points and Foote had 23 as both players connected on seven 3-pointers.
Point Park shot 52 percent and made 6 of 11 treys the first 20 minutes to take a 41-38 lead into the halftime locker room. Cedarville worked a 14-9 lead the first five minutes, but the teams stayed within three points of each other the rest of the first half. Foote answered Cashatt’s trey with a trey of his own for the seventh tie of the game, 38-38.
Point Park plays host to AMC foe Roberts Wesleyan Tuesday night at CCAC-South Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.