Point Park men fall behind early in home loss to Notre Dame (OH)
Jan. 29, 2011
Point Park's Jimmy Sherwood splits two Notre Dame defenders for two of his 31 points. Photo by David Eigenbrode.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. – The Point Park University men’s basketball team spotted visiting Notre Dame (OH) College the first 10 points of the game and never really recovered in Saturday’s 88-78 loss to the Falcons in American Mideast Conference play.
Point Park (11-7, 5-5 AMC) fell behind, 10-0, after three minutes and could not overcome its 31-percent shooting in the first half. Notre Dame (8-13, 4-6 AMC) took a 37-30 lead at halftime and maintained a near double-digit lead for much of the second half. Point Park got as close as six points on a few occasions, but Notre Dame used its patient offense to bump the lead back to eight or nine points time and again.
Point Park was 10 of 32 from the field and 4 of 14 from long range the first 20 minutes. Although the Pioneers regrouped to shoot 53 percent (17 of 32) the second half, Notre Dame matched Point Park with identical numbers from the field – 17 of 32 for 53 percent. That, coupled with the Falcons’ 44-35 edge on the boards, did in the Pioneers.
Point Park’s Jimmy Sherwood led all scorers with 31 points on 10 of 19 from the floor and 7 of 10 from the foul line. The senior guard who started his career at Duquesne was two points off his career high of 33 he set at WV Tech Jan. 4.
Sherwood scored 26 points the second half on a mix of outside shots and drives to the basket. The Sharon, Mass., native made 4 of 8 treys after halftime to spur the Point Park comeback attempt. Sherwood is averaging 26.0 ppg in the last two games since returning from an injury.
The Pioneers’ Kris Douse totaled 19 points and eight rebounds as the only other Point Park player in double figures. The 6-7 senior forward had his streak of nine double-doubles in a row come to an end. Douse leads Point Park with 18.7 points and 13.3 rebounds per game while Sherwood is second in both categories at 18.0 ppg and 5.3 rpg.
Notre Dame’s Eric Dummermuth, who entered the game averaging 21.8 ppg and 11.0 rpg, proved too much for Point Park to handle Saturday. The 6-6 forward finished with 29 points on 10 of 16 shooting to go with 13 rebounds.
Dummermuth’s put back gave the Falcons a 12-2 lead before the game was five minutes old. Later, with Point Park threatening to cut into the lead, Dummermuth stepped out for a big 3-pointer to give Notre Dame a 70-58 lead with 8:00 to go.
Point Park responded with an 8-2 run that was capped off with Douse’s jumper as the lead was cut to 72-66 with 5:14 to go. But after 6-8 center Nathan Ensz scored off an offensive rebound for two of his 12 points and Rodney Mickens got free for a breakaway layup for two of his 15, Notre Dame was still ahead by eight, 76-68, at the 2:48 mark.
Notre Dame successfully milked the clock on a few possessions in a row before Curtis McClure drained a pair of free throws for a 10-point lead, 78-68, with 1:24 left. Douse’s jumper in the paint gave Point Park some life, 78-72, with 1:04 remaining, but Notre Dame iced the game by making 8 of 8 free throws and also mixing in a transition bucket by McClure.
McClure, a 6-3 guard, slashed his way to 23 points on 8 of 12 shooting off the bench. The Falcons ended up shooting 50 percent from the field and made 19 of 26 free throws. Point Park lost ground at the charity stripe by making only 15 of 28 (54 percent) from there.
With the loss, Point Park falls out of the AMC playoff picture for the time being. With nine leagues left, the Pioneers are a half game behind Mt. Vernon Nazarene (6-5 AMC), which holds the fifth and final postseason spot.
Point Park has a pair of difficult road games this coming week. The Pioneers visit NAIA Division II #1 and undefeated Walsh (22-0, 11-0 AMC) on Tuesday before traveling to Cedarville (12-10, 7-4 AMC) on Thursday. Cedarville swept a weekend trip to Houghton and Daemen.