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Basketball News

Big second half carries Malone past Point Park in AMC mathcup

Jan. 14, 2010

CANTON, Ohio - After shooting 59 percent the first half and holding a six-point lead at the break, the Point Park University men's basketball team was outscored, 54-26, the final 20 minutes in a 95-73 loss at Malone Thursday night.


Point Park (5-8 overall, 1-3 AMC) led the American Mideast Conference matchup, 47-41, at halftime, but was held to 9-for-32 shooting (28 percent) the rest of the way as Malone (5-12, 2-4) used a zone defense in the second half to stifle the Point Park offense.

Point Park continued its struggles at Malone. Since its first year playing an AMC schedule in 1999-00, Point Park is 1-5 at Malone. Conversely, Point Park is 5-1 versus the Pioneers at home during that span. Malone leads the all-time series, 13-9.

Point Park made 19 of 32 field goals in the first half, which was good for 59-percent shooting. The Pioneers were sparked in the early going by junior guard Joel Cashatt (Stockton, Calif./Jim Elliott Christian) who scored all 14 of his points in the first half on 6 for 10 shooting.

T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra Catholic) tallied 17 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals for Point Park. At halftime, the 5-10, freshman point guard had nine points and five assists, and neither team led by more than six in the opening 20 minutes.

Eric Johnson (Uniontown/Uniontown) scored 13 points off the bench for Point Park, and he teamed with Heatherington in providing the only offensive production in the second half. Johnson scored 10 points after halftime as he and Heatherington accounted for 18 of Point Park's 26 points the rest of the way.

Point Park's cold shooting in the second half included a 1 of 9 performance from long range. For the game, Point Park wound up shooting 44 percent (28 of 64) from the floor.

While Point Park's offense went cold, Malone shot 51 percent (19 of 37) the second half and made six 3-pointers.

Malone opened the second half on a 20-4 run for a 61-51 lead with 14:34 left.

Point Park clawed back to get within 68-62 on a dunk by Gerald Warrick (Penn Hills/Penn Hills) midway through the half, but then Malone scored 12 points in a row to stretch the lead to 18 points, 80-62, with 8:04 remaining.

Point Park got no closer than, 13, 82-69, the rest of the way, and Malone led by as many as 24 in the final minute.

Malone's Nick Watts kept his team in the game in the first half by scoring 18 of his 20 points. Watts was 6 of 9 from the field and 5 of 5 from the foul line the first half.

Eric Coblentz scored 22 points for Malone to lead all scorers. Although he was 0 of 8 from 3-point range, Coblentz was 9 of 19 from the field overall.

Malone's Kyle Higgins scored 12 of his 15 points the second half, and Ebiowei Porbeni gave the Pioneers four players in double figures with 13 points.

Malone jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, but Cashatt hit a pair of 3-pointers to put Point Park ahead, 13-8 with 15:12 left in the half.

Warrick threw down an alley-oop dunk from Heatherington to give Point Park a 32-31 lead at the 5:26 mark. Warrick finished with eight points and seven rebounds.

Point Park built a 46-41 lead with 27 seconds left in the half on a dunk by Dante Anglin (North Hills/North Hills). Point Park's halftime lead could have been bigger if not for 10 turnovers in the first half.

Point Park has lost four games in a row, which includes three straight AMC losses. The Pioneers have not won since Dec. 1 when they defeated Wilberforce in their conference opener.

The Pioneers will look to turn things around Saturday by hosting  Notre Dame (Ohio) for an AMC game. Game time at CCAC South Gymnasium is 4 p.m., in what is the first of four home games for Point Park next week.

After playing Notre Dame Saturday, Point Park welcomes Roberts Wesleyan for an AMC game Monday at 7:30 p.m. Next Thursday, the Pioneers play host to Walsh, the No. 2 team in NAIA Division II, before finishing off the week with a home date versus Daemen on Saturday.