Point Park men lose at Daemen, settle for No. 3 seed in AMC Tournament
Feb. 18, 2012
Devon Alexander had 21 points Saturday and now has 974 for his career. Photo by Chelsey Engel.
AMHERST, N.Y. -- The big run that the Point Park University men's basketball team put together twice in the first half never came together the second half as the Pioneers lost their American Mideast Conference regular-season finale at Daemen College, 87-67, Saturday afternoon.
Point Park (13-11, 6-6 AMC) twice fell behind Daemen (18-10, 10-2 AMC) by multiple possessions in the first half, but erased the leads with a pair of seperate 13-2 runs.
The Pioneers were ahead, 40-38, at halftime, but Daemen started the second half on a 25-8 run over the first nine minutes for a 63-48 advantage with 11:12 to play.
The loss makes Point Park the No. 3 seed in the upcoming AMC Tournament. The Pioneers will visit No. 2 seed Wilberforce (12-18, 8-4 AMC) in the AMC Tournament First Round Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.
Point Park entered the day with a chance to claim the No. 2 seed and the first-round home game that goes with it. Not only did the Pioneers lose, Wilberforce's 73-63 win over Roberts Wesleyan would have sealed Point Park's fate as the No. 3 seed anyway.
The Pioneers shot just 22 percent (7 of 32) and were 0 for 10 from 3-point land the second half at Daemen. The big runs that it found in the first half never came when they needed them later. Daemen shot 52 percent for the game, including 55 percent the second half.
Point Park trailed, 11-4, after three and half minutes but put together a 13-2 spurt to build a 17-13 lead with 13:25 left in the first half. The Pioneers later trailed, 36-27, with 3:44 to go in the half. But a 13-2 run capped off by 3-pointers from T.J. and Robbie Heatherington gave the Pioneers the two-point lead at the break, 40-38.
Then Daemen seized control with its 17-4 spurt to begin the second half. That resulted in a 55-44 edge with 13:15 left. Point Park was no closer than nine points the rest of the way, and the lead grew to 20 points, 81-61, with 3:36 to go.
Devon Alexander led Point Park with 21 points to go along with eight rebounds. The 6-5, senior forward from McKeesport, Pa., was 5 of 12 from the floor and made 11 free throws. He now has 974 career points and is 26 shy of 1,000 entering the playoffs.
T.J. Heatherington added 18 points, and his brother Robbie rounded out Point Park's double-digit scorers with 11. The 67 points were a season low for the Pioneers, who shot 30 percent (21 of 69) from the field and 24 percent (5 of 21) from long range.
Dom Mazzocchi, a 6-5 forward, had a big game of 22 points and 14 rebounds for Daemen. Guard Casey Sheehan added 17 points, 14 assists and five rebounds. Reserve big man Gerald Beverly added 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
With the win, Daemen became AMC Regular Season Co-Champs along with playoff non-eligible Walsh (10-2 AMC), which is NCAA Division II bound.
Daeme is the No. 1 seed in the AMC Tournament and will host No. 4 seed Roberts Wesleyan Feb. 21. The AMC Finals are Feb. 25 with the highest-remaining seed serving as the host.
The AMC Tournament champion will get the leagues lone bid to the NAIA Divsion II national tournament March 7-13 in Point Lookout, Mo.
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