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Rochester holds off Point Park's comeback in season opener for Pioneers

Nov. 13, 2009

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio - The Point Park University men's basketball team had its comeback bid fall just short Friday in a season-opening loss to Rochester (Mich.). The Warriors improved to 6-0 by topping Point Park, 74-68.

Rochester led 69-55 down the stretch, but Point Park used a 13-2 run to cut the lead to 71-68 with less than one minute to play. Then Rochester's Michael Graham, who led all scorers with 30 points, put the game out of reach by nailing his fifth 3-pointer of the game on the Warriors' final possession in the closing seconds.

Check back later for box score and play-by-play 

The Pioneers (0-1) built a 41-36 halftime lead, but Rochester had a strong start to the second half on its way to the non-conference victory.

T.J.Heatherington

Rochester started the second half on a 33-14 run to lead 69-55. The Warriors shot 54 percent (15 for 28) the second half and 46 percent for the game.

Point Park enjoyed 53-percent shooting the first half, but cooled off after halftime shooting just 33 percent (11 of 33). The Pioneers shot 43 percent (27 of 63) on the night. After making all four of their 3-point attempts the first half, the Pioneers were 1-for-9 from beyond the arc the final 20 minutes.

Freshman point guard T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra Catholic) led Point Park with 20 points and six assists in his first career game. Heatherington (at left) was a two-time all-state performer at Serra.

Marcus Robinson, a native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Allderdice High School, scored 13 points and grabbed four rebounds in his debut with Point Park. Robinson, a senior guard, transferred to Point Park from Clarion after starting his career at Division I Stony Brook.

Josh Trocchio (North Hills/North Hills), a junior guard who is in his second season with the Pioneers, scored 12 points off the bench. Trocchio scored in transition to cut Rochester's lead to 71-68.

Rochester was sparked by Graham, who whose 30 points came on 12 of 20 shooting.

The Pioneers led 40-36 in rebounds, and sophomore forward Dante Anglin (North Hills/North Hills) had a team-high seven rebounds.

Friday's game was the first of five road games in five days for Point Park. Point Park continues tournament play Saturday versus Miami (OH)-Hamilton at 2 p.m.

On Sunday the Pioneers will play St. Joseph (Ind.) in the first round of the Lake Erie Tournament at 7 p.m. After finishing the Lake Erie Tournament Monday, Point Park visits Penn State-Fayette Tuesday for a non-conference game at 7 p.m.