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Robinson's free throw lifts Point Park past Daemen, 73-72

Jan. 23, 2010

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. - Marcus Robinson made 1 of 2 free throws with three seconds left to lift the Point Park University men's basketball team to a 73-72 win over Daemen in an American Mideast Conference game at CCAC South Gymnasium Saturday.

BOX SCORE AND PLAY BY PLAY

MarcusRobinson

With the score tied 72-72, Daemen called a timeout with 21 seconds to go and had a chance to hold for the final shot. But as the clock ticked under 10 seconds, Robinson (Pittsburgh/Allderdice) grabbed his second steal in as many possessions and was fouled at the other end while attempting a go-ahead layup.

Robinson (pictured), a senior guard who transferred from Clarion this year, made the first free throw but missed the second to put the Pioneers (7-10 overall, 3-5 AMC) ahead, 73-72, with three ticks remaining.

Daemen (12-9, 4-4) called a timeout and had one last chance with 1.2 seconds left, but Jim Regan's one-handed 23-footer at the buzzer was no good.

Point Park had to hold on for the victory after leading by 14, 43-29, at halftime. Daemen's comeback was fueled by its 61-percent shooting (17 of 28) the second half. By pulling out the win, the Pioneers improved to 4-2 at home.

The Wildcats steadily chipped away at the Point Park advantage and took their first lead, 67-66, on a 3-pointer by Jorge Ebanks with 2:42 to play. Daemen, which was ranked as high as No. 18 earlier this year in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll, went on to lead 72-68 when Ebanks hit a huge 3-pointer with 58 seconds left.

But Point Park scored the final five points of the game on its way to victory. On Point Park's next trip, Jamar Washington (Pittsburgh/Peabody) followed up Ebank's trey with a 3-pointer of his own to cut the lead to 72-71.

Daemen then took possession with 43 seconds to go and a one-point lead, but Robinson intercepted a pass with 29 seconds left. Robinson was fouled in transition, and he made 1 of 2 foul shots to tie the game at 72-72.

Robinson's fourth steal of the game came on Daemen's next possession, and that gave him the opportunity to hit the winning free throw. Robinson finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals.

Freshman point guard T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra Catholic) led the Pioneers with 17 points and six assists. Senior center Gerald Warrick (Penn Hills/Penn Hills) registered his third double-double in the last four games with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Josh Trocchio (North Hills/North Hills) added 12 points to place four Point Park players in double figures. Washington finished with nine points and six rebounds, and the junior transfer from Mercyhurst North East has six points in the early going to help the Pioneers get off the an early lead.

A slam dunk by Warrick built a 17-7 Point Park lead after six minutes, and Washington scored two inside baskets in a row to give Point Park its biggest lead, 27-12, at the 9:37 mark of the first half.

The Pioneers maintained the double-digit lead the rest of the half after limiting the Wildcats to 28-percent shooting (8 of 29). Daemen was 2 of 10 from long range in the first half to fall behind, 43-29, after 20 minutes.

In the second half, Daemen's Ebanks scored 20 of his game-high 22 points to lead the Wildcats on their comeback. A jumper by Devon Dawson cut the Point Park lead under 10, 57-48, with 11:52 to go.

Although Point Park built a 65-55 lead on a pair of free throws by Heatherington with 7:53 to go, Daemen scored 11 of the next 12 points to go up, 67-66, on Ebanks' long-range jumper.

Daemen outscored Point Park, 43-30, the second half, but didn't have enough to hold on. The Wildcats were whistled for eight more fouls than Point Park (21 for Daemen, 13 for Point Park), but shot more free throws.

Daemen was 16 of 23 (69 percent) from the foul line, and Point Park was 10 of 17 (59 percent) to shoot right around its season average.

The Pioneers held a 42-35 edge in rebounds and ended up shooting 44 percent (30 of 68) from the field. With its hot second half, Daemen wound up shooting 44 percent (25 of 57), as well.

Warrick, a 6-7 center, continued his hot play since becoming eligible at the start of the second semester. The Penn Hills, Pa., native had one semester of eligibility remaining when he transferred in this year. He has started all seven games he has played with averages of 13.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. The only time in the last four games that he didn't get a double-double was when he scored a career-high 23 points versus Roberts Wesleyan on Monday.

Point Park got itself back into the AMC North race for the time being, but still has plenty of games to play. The Pioneers have eight conference games remaining beginning with Thursday's visit to first-place Notre Dame (OH) at 8 p.m.

Point Park finished up its first time through the AMC North schedule Saturday, and its 2-3 versus divisional opponents thus far. The Pioneers still have three more games versus AMC South teams, starting with next Saturday's home date with Cedarville (4 p.m.).  All games versus AMC teams count toward the conference record.