Pioneers get back on track with AMC victory at Malone
Jan. 14, 2010
CANTON, Ohio - The Point Park University women's basketball team got back on the winning track Thursday night with a 78-53 victory over Malone in an American Mideast Conference game.
The Pioneers (8-5) improved to 4-1 in the AMC and snapped a season-long, three-game losing streak. Point Park built a 33-22 halftime lead, only to have Malone (4-15, 1-7) trim the deficit to 38-35 the first four minutes of the second half.
But Point Park responded by outscoring Malone, 25-7, over the next seven minutes and effectively put the game out of reach, 63-42, with 8:54 remaining.
With the victory, Point Park equaled its AMC win total from a year ago and is 4-1 in the AMC for the first time ever.
The big run was ignited by Rachel Roddy (Greensburg/Greensburg Salem), who scored eight of the first 10 points of the spurt. The sophomore forward hit a pair of 3-pointers to get things started, and she added two free throws to put the Pioneers ahead, 48-37.
Roddy, an all-conference volleyball player who joined the Point Park basketball team this year, finished with season highs of 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Point Park's Ashley Henderson (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic) led four players in double figures with a season-high 16 points. The junior guard (pictured) made 7 of 15 field goals and also added five assists.
Henderson was mired in an offensive slump the last three games, but the reigning AMC Newcomer of the Year scored 14 points in the first half to turn things around in a big way. Henderson's layup at the 14:35 mark of the first half gave Point Park its first lead, 9-7, and helped erase an early, 7-1 deficit.
Point guard April Austin (Penn Hills/North Catholic) tallied 15 points and five assists and made three of Point Park's 10 3-pointers. Joncelyn Peterkin (West Mifflin/West Mifflin), a 6-2 sophomore center, chipped in 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting.
Point Park, which entered this week ranking in the top five in NAIA Division II in 3-point shooting percentage at just over 38 percent, used a flurry of 3-pointers to pull away the second half. The Pioneers hit 10 treys on the night with eight coming in the second half.
Leading 50-39, Heather Swedish (Sewickley/Avonworth) nailed a long-range jumper, and after a layup by Terrica Jones (West Mifflin/West Mifflin), Austin drilled two treys in a row for a 61-42 lead midway through the half.
The Pioneers would maintain at least an 18-point lead the rest of the way, and they took their biggest lead of 24 points, 76-52, on a 3-pointer by Brittney Wilson (West Mifflin/West Mifflin) with 2:03 to go. The senior guard/forward tied a career high with 15 rebounds to go along with eight points and three steals.
Point Park's 4-1 AMC record is a big turn around from last season. The Pioneers lost their first six AMC games a year ago and finished 4-9 in the league. What's more, the Pioneers are 3-1 in AMC road games this season after going 0-7 in league road games in 2008-09.
Although Malone got off the 7-1 lead after 3:08, the game was tied at 19-19 with 7:15 left in the opening half. Then Point Park ended the half of a 14-3 spurt for a 33-22 edge at the break.
With a 25-19 lead, Austin and Henderson used effective two-man play to bump the Point Park lead to double digits. Henderson nailed a 3-pointer after taking an assist from Austin, and the next possession, Henderson found Austin for a trey. When Austin fed Henderson for an inside basket, the Pioneers led, 33-21.
Point Park shot 42 percent (30 of 71) from the field, which included 47-percent shooting (17 of 36) the second half. The Pioneers controlled the glass, 49-34, and forced 20 turnovers. Point Park grabbed 16 steals and turned it over 14 times.
Malone was held to 33-percent shooting and only nine field goals in the first half and ended up shooting 36 percent (21 of 59) for the game.
Point Park held a 23-5 edge in points off turnovers and turned its 21 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points.
Amy Kittle led Malone with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Pioneers were coming off of a 77-54 home loss to Carlow Tuesday and fell to 1-7 in the league.
Point Park returns home Saturday for an AMC game versus Notre Dame (Ohio). Game time at CCAC South Gymnasium is 2 p.m.
NOTES: Saturday's game with Notre Dame (Ohio) starts a stretch of five games in nine days for the Pioneers. Fortunately, four of those games are at home in what is the longest home stand for Point Park this year...Monday's game with Roberts Wesleyan is a make-up game for an AMC contest that was postponed Dec. 12.The Point Park-Shawnee State women's basketball game that was postponed Jan. 9 has been rescheduled for Sunday, Jan. 24. Shawnee State, the No. 4 team in NAIA Division II will host the American Mideast Conference game at 2 p.m.