Point Park men stop slide with key, AMC road win at Wilberforce, 88-71
Jan. 31, 2012
Asa Braxton had a career-high 23 points and five 3-pointers in Tuesday's win. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
WILBERFORCE, Ohio -- The Point Park University men's basketball team put the brakes on a mini, two-game losing streak and picked up a key road win with Tuesday's 88-71 victory over Wilberforce University in American Mideast Conference play.
Point Park (10-9, 3-4 AMC) had lost its last two conference games, but ran out to an 18-point halftime lead to avenge an earlier loss to Wilberforce (9-16, 5-3 AMC). Point Park, which had been 3-6 in its last nine games entering Tuesday, took complete control with a 52-34 halftime lead over the Bulldogs.
Point Park and Wilberforce split the season series as Point Park dropped a disappointing, 92-80, home loss to the Bulldogs on Jan. 7. Point Park now leads the all-time series with Wilberforce, 16-6.
A couple of lesser-used players played key roles for the Pioneers Tuesday as reserve Asa Braxton had 16 of his 23 points and nailed four treys in the first half to get Point Park out to the 52-34 lead at the break. Braxton is a 6-2, junior guard/forward from Pittsburgh, Pa., and Hampton High School. He previously played at Seton Hill.
Also, Eric Johnson got his first start of the year and made the most of it with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. The 6-2 senior guard/forward from Uniontown, Pa., sat out the first semester but has scored in double figures in five of the seven games he's played.
Junior point guard T.J. Heatherington put up 22 points and six assists, and senior forward Devon Alexander added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Pioneers.
Dante Anglin, a 6-5 senior forward from North Hills, Pa., grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to give him 506 for his career. He is the 17th player in school history to reach the 500-rebound plateau.
It was Braxton and Johnson who spearheaded Point Park's first-half surge. A couple of buckets by Johnson keyed a 6-0 run that put the Pioneers up, 25-19 midway through the half.
Moments later, Braxton hit a trey to establish a 10-point lead, 36-26. Another 3-pointer by Braxton and an old-fashioned 3-point play from Johnson made the score 44-31 late in the half.
But Braxton extended the lead even more as he scored eight quick points -- on two treys and a jumper -- to make it 52-34 at intermission. Braxton made five 3-pointers on the night.
Point Park's lead got up over 20 points, 65-43, early in the second half. Braxton hit another trey to push the lead to 77-50 at one point.
Wilberforce's Terrance Morgan had a team-high 14 points, although 12 of those came on four 3-pointers in the first half. Leading scorer Chris Olayfioye, a 6-3 guard who put up 27 points in the win at Point Park, was held to one point. He came in averaging 17.4 ppg.
Tuesday's game was the first of three straight AMC road games for Point Park. The Pioneers are just 1-3 in conference home games, which leaves them to pick up the slack on the road. Point Park visits Houghton on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Walsh on Feb. 7 (8 p.m.).
Point Park has a total of five games remaining, all of which are in conference play. The Pioneers are within contention of one of the four AMC playoff spots.
(Visit the Point Park athletics Web site for a Box Score at a later time).