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Warrick records career-high 24 points on 11 of 12 shooting in win over Houghton

Feb. 12, 2010

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. – Gerald Warrick (pictured below) scored a career-high 24 points on 11 of 12 shooting and added 13 rebounds to lead the Point Park University men’s basketball team to a 90-82 victory over Houghton in an American Mideast Conference game Friday at CCAC-South Gymnasium.

Gerald Warrick vs. Cedarville BOX SCORE AND PLAY BY PLAY 

Warrick, a 6-7, senior center from Penn Hills, made his first nine field goals to help Point Park (9-13, 5-8 AMC) build a 12-point lead, 81-69, with just under six minutes remaining. After that, the Pioneers had just enough to hold off hot-shooting Houghton (9-15, 4-10), which shot 41 percent from beyond the arc and made 15 treys. 

Houghton cut the Point Park lead to five, 85-80, with 2:35 to go, but two free throws by T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra Catholic) bumped the lead to seven with less than two minutes to play. Then, a breakaway layup by Joel Cashatt (Stockton, Calif./Jim Elliott Christian) with 57 seconds left put the game out of reach, 89-80.

Heatherington finished with 14 points, nine assists and three steals. Cashatt came off the bench to score 13 points with all but his final layup coming in the first half. Josh Trocchio (North Hills/North Hills) started for the first time in 10 games and scored 11 points and made three 3-pointers.

But it was Warrick who stole the show, and he didn’t waste any time getting started. The senior transfer from Edinboro who had to sit out the first semester, threw down three dunks the first five minutes to help Point Park to an early, 11-8 lead. Heatherington assisted on each of Warrick’s early dunks with two of them being alley-oops.

Warrick is averaging 14.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game since making his debut Jan. 4. Over the last nine games, he has seven double-doubles and averages of 16.8 points and 12. 6 rebounds per game. His previous career high of 23 points came earlier this year versus Roberts Wesleyan.

But Houghton did its best to crash Warrick’s party by making nine 3-pointers the first half. After trailing 11-8, Houghton rattled off a quick 9-0 run that was made up of three treys to build a 17-11 lead with 13:40 left in the first half. Two minutes late Jeffrey Ireland’s long-range bomb put the Highlanders ahead, 22-16.

Neither team led by more than a possession or two the rest of the first half, and Point Park forged a 41-41 tie with 1:28 before half on a 3-point play by Franco Sebastiani (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic). 

Then, the Pioneers ended the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 49-43 lead into the locker rOom. Cashatt’s 3-pointer got the rally started, and Devon Alexander (McKeesport/McKeesport) followed with a 3-point play the old fashion way. And as the clock ticked down in the half, Warrick cleaned up a missed layup in transition by slamming home the rebound with a thunderous dunk at the buzzer.

The story off the first half was Warrick, who had 16 points on 7 of 7 shooting and dunked the ball five times, versus the outside shooting by Houghton, which accounted for 9-for-18 accuracy from long range.

But the Highlanders could not continue the hot shooting the second half. Houghton shot 47 percent from the field the first half, but its shooting dipped to 39 percent the rest of the way. Houghton was 6 of 19 from beyond the arc the final 20 minutes.

Point Park, meanwhile, shot 52 percent (35 of 68) for the game, which included 58 percent (19 of 33) the first half. The Pioneers held a 44-38 edge in rebounds and forced 17 turnovers.

Point Park’s Eric Johnson (Uniontown/Uniontown), a 6-2 guard/forward, chipped in eight points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals. The junior from Uniontown grabbed several key rebounds and loose balls down the stretch to help hold off Houghton.

Alexander ended up with seven points and six rebounds while Marcus Robinson (Pittsburgh/Allderdice) added six points and seven rebounds.

Devin Paige led four HoUghton players in double figures with 22 points and five assists. Michael Amico (19 points) and Jeffrey Ireland (14 points) each made four 3-pointers. Ryan Shay posted 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Pioneers are two games out of the AMC playoff picture with three games to go, beginning with Saturday’s home contest versus Malone (4 p.m.). Point Park will hold its Senior Day in its final home game.

The Pioneers have an outside shot at making the postseason, and they will likely have to win their final three games to have a chance. Point Park finishes the season at Daemen Thursday and at Roberts Wesleyan Feb. 20.