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Basketball News

Pioneers struggle shooting in three-point loss to Ohio Valley

Nov. 16, 2009

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The Point Park University men's basketball team shot just 35 percent from the field in a 74-71 loss to Ohio Valley in the consolation game of the Lake Erie Tournament Monday.


The Pioneers (1-3) struggled from the field all night, but were still within a basket at the end.

Ohio Valley (1-1) built a 71-65 lead with 31 seconds left on a pair of free throws by David White, but Point Park's Devon Alexander (McKeesport/McKeesport) converted a 3-point play with a basket and a foul to cut the lead to 71-68.


Two more free throws by White gave the Fighting Scots a 73-68 lead before Franco Sebastiani (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic) nailed a 3-pointer on Point Park's next trip to make the score 73-71 with seven seconds remaining.

The Pioneers fouled to send Micah Mills to the line, but he made only one of two foul shots. Point Park took possession with five seconds left, but Josh Trocchio (North Hills/North Hills) missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Trocchio (pictured) scored a career-high 26 points and made eight 3-pointers. The junior guard who transferred from last La Roche last year had a previous career high of 15 points in last year's season finale. Trocchio registered a career high for 3-pointers, and all but one of his 17 field goal attempts came from long range Monday.

Alexander, a 6-5 sophomore forward, scored 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting. Alexander, who scored 21 points in Sunday's, 125-98 loss to St. Joseph's (Ind.), was named to the all-tournament team.

Trocchio and Alexander combined to shoot 55 percent (16 for 29) from the floor, but the rest of the team shot just 24 percent (12 for 51). As a team, Point Park was 28 of 79 from the field for a shooting percentage of 35 percent.

Trocchio made 8 of 16 3-point attempts, but the rest of the team was 1 for 13 from beyond the arc. Point Park shot 32 percent (9 of 28) from long range.

The Pioneers were playing their fourth game in as many days. Before losing to St. Joseph's (Ind.) on Sunday, Point Park split two games at the Notre Dame (OH) tournament on Friday and Saturday. Point Park finishes up a stretch of playing five road games in five days with a non-conference game at Penn State-Fayette Tuesday.

Point Park used only seven players Monday. Junior guard Eric Johnson (Uniontown/Uniontown) came off the bench to score 10 points and grab eight rebounds.

The Pioneers played without point guard T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra Catholic), who injured his ankle in the opening minutes of Sunday's loss. Heatherington had been Point Park's leader in points and assists the first two games.

Point Park's Marcus Robinson (Pittsburgh/Allderdice) was limited to 4 of 17 shooting, and he scored all eight of his points in the first half. The senior transfer from Clarion fouled out with 38 seconds left.

Ohio Valley shot 50 percent (28 of 56) from the field and survived 19 turnovers. Ohio Valley committed 14 turnovers in the first half, but still led 41-37 at the break after limiting Point Park to 35-percent shooting the opening 20 minutes.

Alexander gave Point Park its only lead of the game, 2-0, before the Fighting Scots rattled off the next nine points for a 9-2 lead. With 13:17 left in the half, Ohio V alley built its biggest lead of the first half, 15-6, but Point Park battled back to make it 28-25 with 5:36 to go on a 3-pointer by Trocchio.

The Pioneers forged the first tie of the game, 30-30, on Robinson's inside basket at the 4:21 mark, and Ohio Valley went on to take a four-point halftime lead.

Ohio Valley rebuilt its nine-point advantaging by taking a 50-41 lead with 14:24 remaining. Then Point Park went on a 10-2 run that started and ended with a 3-pointer by Trocchio. In between, Alexander and Johnson each hit a jumper. Trocchio's second trey of th run cut the lead to one, 52-51, at the 11:40 mark.

From there, the biggest lead for either team was Ohio Valley's six-point advantage, 71-65, after Point Park had begun to foul in the final minute. Ohio Valley was 13 for 17 from the foul line, and its final six points came from the charity stripe.

The Fighting Scots were 6 of 8 from the line the final 35 seconds, which was enough to hold off Point Park's comeback attempt.

In addition to its struggles from the field, Point Park made just 6 of 11 free throws (55 percent).

Ohio Valley's Donavin Vinson had a team-high 21 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Teammate Rodney Everage had 12 points and 12 rebounds.