Point Park men beat MVNU, 84-76, gain full game on playoff field
Feb. 10, 2011
Point Park's Kris Douse had 23 points in Thursday's win. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team stopped a four-game losing streak Thursday night with an important, 84-76, win over visiting Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in American Mideast Conference action at CCAC-South Gym.
The Pioneers (12-10, 6-8 AMC) entered the game 2.5 games out of the AMC playoff race with five games to go. But with their first win since Jan. 27, the Pioneers gained a full game on the field and gained ground on Mt. Vernon Nazarene (15-12, 8-7 AMC), which is now in a tie with Daemen (8-7 AMC) for the fifth and final playoff spot in the league.
Point Park is 1.5 games behind those two teams with four games to go, beginning with Saturday's date at NAIA DII #22 Malone. Prior to Thursday's win over MVNU, Point Park's last victory was an upset of Malone, which had been ranked #18 nationally in the Jan. 27 game at Point Park.
The Pioneers are now 7-3 in home games. On Saturday they will try to improve on their 1-5 AMC road record.
Point Park forward Kris Douse had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead four Pioneers in double figures. Josh Trocchio came alive from a shooting slump to put up 18 points on the strength of 4 of 8 from long range.
Guard Jimmy Sherwood totaled 17 points and seven rebounds and made 7 of 10 from the floor. Point guard Joel Cashatt tallied 14 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Sherwood knocked down 2 of 5 treys while Cashatt was 3 for 5 from outside the arc.
The Pioneers were down, 43-42, at the half after holding a few leads of at least eight points the first 20 minutes. Point Park staked out to a 58-50 lead midway through the second half only to have MVNU get within 67-65 a few minutes later.
But later, Sherwood got free for a breakaway layup and a 73-67 edge before Trocchio buried a huge trey to put the Pioneers ahead, 77-71, with 1:56 to go. From there, the Cougars threatened briefly as Ben Severns made it an 81-76 game with 31 seconds left. But the Pioneers put the game away at the foul line moments later.
Point Park enjoyed a tremendous start in racing out to a 7-0 lead the first two minutes. The Cougars battled back to tie things at 9-9 a few minutes later only to have Point Park establish a 27-16 advantage midway throught the first half.
The Cougars managed to take the halftime lead, though, after ending the first period on a 14-3 run.
Both teams shot very well from the outside in the first half. Point Park was 7 of 14 from outside the arc, and MVNU was 6 of 12 from there the first 20 minutes. The Cougars, who rank fifth in the nation in field goal-percentage and third in 3-point accuracy, shot an impressive 55 percent the first half, which was the biggest reason for their rally.
However, the Point Park defense held MVNU to 33-percent shooting the second half, including 2 of 11 from downtown to assume control. The Pioneers did an especially good job on MVNU's Brandon Short, who averages 15.2 ppg. Short finished with three points on 1 of 4 shooting.
Forward Adam Grimm had a team-high 18 for the Cougars, followed by guard Robbie Taylor with 14. Guard Ben Severns came off the bench for 10 points.
Point Park held a 38-32 edge in rebounds and shot 46 percent from the field and made 10 of 22 treys for 46 percent. Mt. Vernon ended up shooting 45 percent overall amd 8 of 23 (35%) from distance.
Click the link below to read a Live Blog that was conducted by Point Park journalism student Doug Andiorio during Thursday's game. The Live Blog utilizes Cover It Live technology: