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Basketball News

Point Park puts Penn State-Fayette away early in the second half

Nov. 24, 2009

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa  -- The Point Park University men's basketball team started the second half on a 29-10 run to pull away from Penn State-Fayette in a 95-69, non-conference victory Tuesday at CCAC-South Gymnasium.


The Pioneers (4-4) led 41-29 at halftime, and they built a 31-point lead on the eight-minute run to begin the second half. After the 29-10 spurt was over, Point Park led 70-39 with 12:02 to play.

Heatherington vs. PSU-Fayette
Pictured above, Point Park's T.J. Heatherington stops for a jumper on a fast break Tuesday. Photo by Murphy Moschetta, Point Park athletics.

Tuesday's game was the home opener for the Pioneers, who went 3-4 on a season-opening road trip. Point Park defeated Penn State-Fayette, 82-69, Nov. 17 in what was the fifth road game in as many days for the Pioneers.

Point Park led by 19 with 15 minutes left in the first meeting with Penn State-Fayette (0-5) only to have the Roaring Lions cut the lead to four points with under two minutes to play. That night, the road-weary Pioneers scored the final nine points of the game to win by 13.

Tuesday, it was a different story, however, as Point Park never let its foot off the gas pedal after pulling away in the second half. The Pioneers led by no less than 24 points the final 12 minutes, and they took their biggest lead of 32 points, 82-50, with 6:03 to go.

Point Park had five players in double figures, and Josh Trocchio (North Hills/North Hills) continued his hot shooting to lead the way with 18 points. All of the junior guard's points came by virtue of a 6 of 9 performance from 3-point range. Trocchio, who also had seven rebounds, has made 29 of 66 treys and is shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc this year.

Devon Alexander (McKeesport/McKeesport), a 6-5, sophomore forward scored 17 points on 8 of 12 shooting and also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Alexander, who had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half, is shooting 64 percent from the field through eight games.

Freshman point guard T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra Catholic) posted the first double-double of his career with 14 points and 12 assists. Heatherington (pictured above, center), who had a career-high 26 points in the first meeting with Penn State-Fayette, returned to the lineup after missing the last game and a half with an ankle injury.

Heatherington set up Eric Johnson (Uniontown/Uniontown) for a layup to give Point Park a 20-9 lead midway through the first half. Johnson totaled 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench. The, 6-2, junior guard was 5 of 8 from the floor.

Heatherington picked up one of his eight first-half assist when he finished off a fast break by finding Marcus Robinson (Pittsburgh/Allderdice), who dunked the ball for two of his 10 points. Robinson's slam dunk gave Point Park a 28-18 lead with 6:34 to go in the first half.  Robinson, a 6-3, senior guard, also added seven rebounds to help Point Park hold a 52-43 advantage on the boards.

Johnson's layup put the Pioneers ahead by 15, 38-23, and Point Park went on to take a 41-29 lead at the break.

Leading 50-36 with 16:31 remaining, Trocchio and Heatherington accounted for 13 of the next 14 points as part of a 13-1 run that gave Point Park a 63-37 lead with 13:07 to play. Trocchio hit two 3-pointers while Heatherington nailed a trey and scored twice in transition during the spurt.

Heatherington found Alexander for a reverse layup on the fast break, and on the next play he put in a transition layup while being fouled. The ensuing free throw gave the Pioneers a 31-point lead, 70-39.

Point Park shot 49 percent (37 of 76) from the field, which included 53-percent shooting in the second half. Penn State-Fayette shot only 32 percent (23 of 72) on the night, and the Roaring Lions shot 27 percent (9 of 23) in the first half.

Penn State-Fayette had 24 turnovers, which was four more than Point Park.

Andrew Hoye, a 6-8, freshman center, was the only player in double figures for Penn State-Fayette.  Hoye had 10 points off the bench.

Point Park begins American Mideast Conference play next Tuesday with a home game versus Wilberforce. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at CCAC-South Gymnasium.

Every one of Point Park's 16 AMC men's basketball games will be broadcast live by WPPJ 670-AM and the MSA Sports Network. Visit www.pointpark.edu/athletics to access links to live internet broadcasts.