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Basketball News

Trocchio and Robinson lead Pioneers to victory in AMC opener vs. Wilberforce

Dec. 1, 2009 

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. - Josh Trocchio and Marcus Robinson each had a big game offensively to lead the Point Park University men's basketball team to an 84-76 victory over Wilberforce in the American Mideast Conference opener for both teams Tuesday at CCAC-South Campus Gymnasium.


Trocchio action 2

Trocchio (pictured), a junior guard from North Hills, Pa., had 21 points and made six 3-pointers. Robinson, a senior guard from Pittsburgh who transferred from Clarion this year, tallied 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting.

Junior guard Eric Johnson (Uniontown/Uniontown) added his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to help Point Park (5-4 overall, 1-0 AMC) win its third game in a row.

Wilberforce (4-3, 0-1), which was picked in the preseason to finish last in the American Mideast Conference South Division, led 18-10 midway through the first half only to have Point Park take a 41-32 lead at halftime.

The Pioneers maintained a double-digit lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half, and had their biggest lead of 17 points, 57-40, with 12:04 to go. From there, Point Park's lead was cut to six on two occasions down the stretch, but the Pioneers had enough to hold off the Bulldogs both times.

Wilberforce whittled Point Park's lead to 63-57 with 7:21 to go, but the Pioneers responded with a 12-2 spurt to bump the lead to 16, 75-59, two minutes later. Trocchio started the run by hitting a big 3-pointer to give Point Park some breathing room, and Robinson capped of the surge by scoring two inside buckets.

Wilberforce's Christopher Olafioye, who led all scorers with 28 points and 10 rebounds, hit a jumper in the lane to cut Point Park's lead to 80-74, but that came with only 20 seconds left on the clock. After that, four free throws by Robinson put the game out of reach.

Trocchio leads the Pioneers in scoring at 15.4 points per game, and all of his six field goals came from beyond the arc Tuesday. On the year, the junior who transferred from La Roche last year, is shooting 46 percent from the floor and 46 percent from 3-point range.

Robinson, a former Division I recruit out of Allderdice High School, registered a career high for scoring and also added five rebounds. Robinson had 10 points and was 5 of 7 from the field in the first half.

Point Park fell behind 18-10 after a sluggish start that was plagued by turnovers. But then the Pioneers rattled off a 14-2 run to lead 24-20 with 7:22 left in the first half. Robinson hit a jumper and Trocchio nailed a trey to get the rally going, and Johnson scored inside to finish off the spurt.

The Pioneers used an 11-3 run over the last 5:19 of the first half to lead by nine, 41-32, at the break.

Point Park shot 48 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. The Pioneers were 3 of 10 from long range in the first half, but made 4 of 6 treys after halftime. The Pioneers led in rebounding, 41-39, and survived 26 turnovers.

Wilberforce, which committed 21 turnovers, shot 39 percent from the field. The Bulldogs were held to 33 percent shooting the first half, but rebounded to shoot 44 percent the final 20 minutes. Wilberforce was 20 of 28 from the free throw line for 71 percent.

Point guard Terrance Morgan had 14 points and was 8 of 10 from the foul line for Wilberforce. Brian Butler had 12 of his 16 points in the second half, and he joined Olafioye in providing most of the offense during Wilberforce's second-half push. Olafioye, a 6-3, sophomore guard, had 18 points the second half.

Point Park continues American Mideast Conference play Saturday at Houghton. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.

Point Park is a member of the AMC North Divison, and Tuesday's game was the first of 16 conference games for the Pioneers. Point Park plays each of the five other AMC North Division teams twice and faces each of the six AMC South Division teams once.