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Basketball News

Point Park falls to Fairmont St. after long layoff, Heatherington scores 23 points

Jan. 4, 2010 

FAIRMONT, W.Va. - Playing its first game in 30 days, the Point Park University men's basketball team lost a non-conference game at Fairmont State, 94-73, Monday night.



Point Park (5-6) played its first game since losing at Houghton Dec. 5, and freshman point guard T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra Catholic) led the Pioneers with 23 points and six assists. Heatherington is pictured left.

Fairmont State (7-1) was led by a pair of guards as Terrence Green scored 24 points and Steve Custis added 21. The Fighting Falcons were ahead by 12 at halftime and extended their lead to as many as 25 points with 4:53 remaining.

Point Park had its last two games postponed. The Pioneers were scheduled to visit Buffalo State Dec. 9 and play host to AMC rival Roberts Wesleyan Dec. 12, but both games were postponed due to inclement weather.

Despite the long layoff, Point Park kept things even the first seven and a half minutes. But then cold shooting by the Pioneers allowed Fairmont State to build a 42-30 lead by halftime.

With the score tied at 14-14 with 13:30 left in the first half, Fairmont State limited Point Park to four points over the next five minutes, and after the 17-4 run was over, the Fighting Falcons led, 31-18.

The Pioneers shot just 32 percent (14 of 44) the first 20 minutes, and Fairmont State's biggest lead of the half was 39-24 at the 3:30 mark.

Fairmont State's Green, a transfer from Allegheny College, led all scorers with 24 points, and his dunk put the Fighting Falcons ahead by 16, 55-39, with 14:44 left in the game.

Point Park's Eric Johnson (Uniontown/Uniontown) scored all 12 of his points in the second half, and his jumper cut the deficit to 60-49 four minutes later.

Johnson capped off a 7-0 Point Park run with a pair of jumpers to make the score 71-59 at the 8:01 mark, but Fairmont State rattled off 13 points in a row to build the biggest lead of the night of 25 points, 84-59, with 4:53 remaining.

Point Park recovered from its early shooting slump to shoot 44 percent (16 of 36) the final 20 minutes, but the Pioneers ended up shooting 38 percent (30 of 80) for the game.

Heatherington was three points shy of his career high, and he is averaging a team-best 14.3 points and 5.9 assists per game. Heatherington was 8 of 19 from the field and 5 of 5 from the foul line.

Johnson was 5 of 9 from the floor and scored his 12 points in just 16 minutes of action. The 6-2, junior guard/forward has come off the bench in every game, and he is third on the team at 12.5 points per game.

Devon Alexander (McKeesport/McKeesport) chipped in 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Pioneers. The 6-5 sophomore forward was 5 of 10 from the floor and is shooting 59.5 percent from the floor this year.

Fairmont State, an NCAA Division II member, shot 44 percent (36 of 81) from the field. The Fighting Falcons were just 4 of 22 from 3-point range, but they made up for it by making 18 of 29 free throws. Point Park was 9 of 13 from the foul line.

Although Point Park turned the ball over just 12 times, Fairmont State was able to take full advantage of its opportunities and held a 22-6 edge in points off turnovers.

The Fighting Falcons held a 57-43 advantage in rebounds, and they pulled down 23 boards on the offensive end. Fairmont State converted the offensive rebounds into 25 second-chance points, compared to just 16 for Point Park.

Green was 11 of 17 from the floor and also added seven rebounds. Besides Custis with 21, the only other player in double figures was Mike Henderson with 10 points.

Monday's game was the last scheduled non-conference game for the Pioneers, who resume American Mideast Conference play at Shawnee State Saturday (4 p.m.). The Buffalo State game, which was postponed Dec. 9, may be made up as a non-conference game if the schedules of both teams allow, but otherwise the rest of Point Park's games are league contests.

Point Park welcomed the addition of two transfers for Monday night's game. Gerald Warrick (Penn Hills/Penn Hills) and Jamar Washington (Pittsburgh/Peabody) transferred to Point Park at the start of the season, but Monday was their first chance to dress because of transfer rules. Both players had to sit out the first semester although they practiced with the team.

Warrick, a 6-7 senior center, had six points and six rebounds while Washington, a 6-3 junior guard, had two points. Both players were seeing their first collegiate action in quite some time, but each is expected to be factor in the second half of the season.

Warrick spent his first two years at Mercyhurst North East, and most recently he averaged 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a junior at Edinboro in 2007-08. Washington spent his first two years at Mercyhurst NE, the second of which included 10.0 points per game in 2006-07.