Pioneers roll at Houghton, gain more ground in AMC playoff race
Feb. 15, 2011
Devon Alexander, pictured in a Dec. 7 game vs. Houghton, scored 17 pts off the bench Tuesday.Photo by Chelsey Engel.
HOUGHTON, N.Y. – The Point Park University men’s basketball team continued to gain ground in the American Mideast Conference playoff race with Tuesday’s romp, 95-55, at Houghton College.
The Pioneers (14-10) won for the third time in a row to even their AMC record at 8-8. Point Park is now just a half game out of the conference playoffs thanks to Tuesday’s victory over the Highlanders (6-19, 1-15 AMC) coupled with Daemen’s 73-54 loss to red-hot Roberts Wesleyan also on Tuesday.
Daemen (9-8 AMC) holds the fifth and final playoff spot in the league and is just a half game ahead of the Pioneers. Point Park finishes its season at home versus Daemen Saturday, but not before traveling to Notre Dame (OH) Thursday (7 p.m.).
Forward Kris Douse had a game-high 20 points for Point Park, and guard Josh Trocchio added 18 points on the strength of five treys. Junior forward Devon Alexander added a season-high 17 points off the bench while starting point guard Joel Cashatt chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Point Park was never seriously challenged versus Houghton and jumped out to leads of 5-0, 11-1 and 19-3 the first 10 minutes. The Pioneers went on to take a 44-28 halftime lead as Douse led the first-half scoring with 13 of his 20 points.
Point Park made 7 of 16 3-pointers the first 20 minutes for 44 percent accuracy. The Pioneers turned things up even further the second half by going 7 of 12 from long range to the tune of 58-percent shooting. Point Park finished with 14 treys in 28 attempts for 50 percent from outside the arc. The 14 3-pointers were two off a season high.
For the game, Point Park shot 48 percent from the field and held Houghton to 27 percent (19 of 70). Point Park’s shooting was in stark contrast to its 32-percent effort in its 83-73 home win over Houghton Dec. 7.
Point Park dominated the boards, 59-31. Junior forward Dante Anglin and freshman forward Josh Pohlot led the way on the boards with career highs of 12 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
Point Park’s lead grew to 25 points, 60-35, the first five minutes of the second half. Five minutes later, the bulge was 30 points, 71-41, and the Pioneers pushed things to 40 points with a minute to go.
Houghton was led by Mark O’Brien’s 15 points off the bench. Ryan Shay was the only other player in double figures with 10, although he was 3 of 15 from the floor and 0 of 10 from long range.
With the win, Point Park is now 35-4 all-time versus Houghton.
Mt. Vernon Nazarene fell to 8-9 in the league as its 85-55 loss to NAIA DII #2 Walsh Tuesday was its third defeat in a row. The Cougars had been ahead of Point Park in the standings prior to Tuesday night’s results.
After season standings and head-to-head results, the next tiebreaking criteria is what each team did against the top teams in the league. Point Park owns two wins over second-place Malone (11-5 AMC) and one win over third-place Cedarville (11-5 AMC), which may be beneficial in breaking a potential tie with Daemen, which has a combined one win over those two teams. First-place Walsh (16-1 AMC) has lost only to Roberts Wesleyan.