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Basketball News

No. 2 Walsh too much for Point Park in the second half

Jan. 21, 2010

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. - Second-ranked Walsh was too much for Point Park to handle in the second half as the Cavaliers cruised to a 107-71 American Mideast Conference win over the Pioneers in a men's basketball game at CCAC South Gymnasium Thursday.



Walsh (18-1, 8-0 AMC) which has been ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II for much of the season, turned its 10-point halftime lead into a 36-point rout by outscoring Point Park (6-10, 2-5), 61-35, the final 20 minutes.

Point Park lost for the sixth time in its last seven games, and its only win during that span was Saturday's victory over Notre Dame (OH), the first place team in the AMC North Division.

Walsh, meanwhile, won for the eighth straight game and extended its first-place record in the AMC South Division. At 8-0, the Cavaliers hold a substantial lead over second-place Cedarville (3-2 AMC).

Point Park center Gerald Warrick (Penn Hills/Penn Hills) registered his second double-double in three games with a team-high 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The 6-7 senior transfer is averaging 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in six games since joining the Pioneers at the start of the semester.

Point guard T.J. Heatherington (McKeesport/Serra) totaled 10 points and five assists on 4 of 13 shooting. The 5-10 freshman is leading the Pioneers at 14.8 points and 5.7 assists per game, and his assists average places him in the top 10 in the country.

Junior guard Jamar Washington (Pittsburgh/Peabody) gave the Pioneers three players in double figures with 10 points, which established a scoring high for his Point Park career. Like Warrick, Washington suited up for the first time at the start of the spring semester after transferring into the program at the beginning of the year.

In the early going, Point Park kept things even with highly ranked Cavaliers, and the score was tied a 10-10 after 7:40. Point Park was still within 21-17 at the 8:42 mark on a layup by Josh Trocchio (North Hills/North Hills).

But sparked by the hot shooting of Brandon Speck, Walsh went on to lead by as many as 16 the first half. Speck came off the bench to nail four 3-pointers - all in the first half - and the four treys came in a span of four minutes. Speck's fourth long-range jumper gave Walsh its largest lead of the half, 37-21, with 5:28 before halftime.

In addition to Speck's outside play, Walsh got 12 points in the first half from 6-7 forward Ricky Jackson, and 10 more points from 6-10 center Kyelce Cescato. The Cavaliers took a 46-36 lead at the break after a 3-pointer by Marcus Robinson (Pittsburgh/Perry) drew the Pioneers within 10 at the half.

After halftime, it was Jackson who asserted himself inside. The senior transfer from West Virginia State scored 21 points in the second half to finish with 33 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. He entered the game with season averages of 23.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Walsh's Lamar Skeeter finished with 17 points and nine assists, and 16 of his points came in the second half. Skeeter hit two of his team's five 3-pointers the second half, and he helped the Cavaliers shoot 59.5 percent (22 of 37) the final 20 minutes.

Walsh leads the nation in several statistical categories including scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage. The Cavaliers got eight more points than their season average Thursday night. After being outrebounded by Point Park, 25-22, in the first half, Walsh controlled the boards, 24-13, the rest of the way.

Point Park shot 39 percent for the game (29 of 74) while Walsh shot 53 percent (40 of 75). Walsh was 18 of 24 from the foul line and although Point Park shot 82 percent from the charity stripe, the made only 11 trips to the line (9 of 11).

Joel Cashatt (Strockton, Calif./Jim Elliott Christian) totaled nine points, five assists and four rebounds for Point Park, and Robinson finished with nine points.

Cescato ended up with 14 points on 7 of 9 shooting, and posted a double-double with 10 rebounds. L.J. Sutton added 12 points to place five Walsh players in double figures. 

Point Park finishes up its busy week at CCAC South Gymnasium with a home date against Daemen Saturday at 4 p.m. After that, the Pioneers' next game will be a road contest at Notre Dame (OH) next Thursday.