Point Park's defense forces 24 turnovers, allows no field goals final 4:36 of win
Feb. 12, 2010
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. – The Point Park University women’s basketball team forced 24 turnovers, including a game-clinching steal with under 10 seconds to play to edge Houghton, 46-44, Friday night in an American Mideast Conference game at CCAC-South Gymnasium.
Point Park (12-11, 8-7 AMC) tied a season high with 19 steals, and the biggest theft of the game came with eight seconds left when April Austin (Penn Hills/North Catholic) grabbed a steal on Houghton’s last possession. Houghton (15-9, 9-7) inbounded the ball with 14 seconds left trailing 46-44.
Austin (pictured) scored a game-high 15 points, and after getting her third steal, she passed the ball to teammate Ashley Henderson (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic), who found enough open court to run out the rest of the clock.
Henderson finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five steals, and she teamed with Austin as the only Point Park players in double figures.
After Houghton tied the score at 42-42 with 4:36 to go, the Point Park defense did not give up a field goal the rest of the game. Inside jumpers by Henderson and Terrica Jones (West Mifflin/West Mifflin) provided the Pioneers with their last two baskets, and they were enough to hold off the Highlanders.
Point Park improved to 8-7 in the AMC and moved to within a half a game of the seventh-and-final playoff spot, which is occupied by Houghton (9-7 AMC).
The Pioneers are tied with Northwestern Ohio for eighth place, and Point Park gets right back into AMC action with a home date versus Malone (4-23, 1-15) Saturday.
The Pioneers eclipsed their win total of last year and swept the season series from the Highlanders. Point Park defeated Houghton, 70-65, on Dec. 5 after erasing a 10-point deficit the last five minutes. The Pioneers ended that game on 17-2 run and allowed just two points the last five minutes.
Point Park’s defense on Friday helped to make up for its 29-percent shooting. The Pioneers started the game by missing their first seven field goals to fall behind, 9-0, the first four minutes.
After the 0 of 7 start, Point Park shot 11 of 25 the rest of the first half to take a 25-22 lead at the break. But the Pioneers never really got going on offense the second half and shot 24 percent (8 of 33) the final 20 minutes.
For the night, Point Park made 19 of 65 field goals (29 percent), which included a 2-for-12 performance from 3-point range. Houghton entered Friday leading the AMC in scoring defense (59.4 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.348), but it was the Point Park’s opportunistic defense that proved to be the difference.
Houghton shot 43 percent (19 of 44) from the field, and held a 42-33 advantage in rebounds. But Point Park held an 18-2 edge in points off turnovers and committed only nine turnovers of its own.
Houghton’s Ashley Dupler was a force inside with 14 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. The 6-1, junior center scored inside twice in the early going to get the Highlanders off to a 9-0 lead.
But Point Park battled back to knot the score at 15-15 on a layup by Henderson midway through the first half. From there, Austin scored Point Park’s final 10 points off the half as the Pioneers took a 25-22 lead into halftime. Austin, a freshman point guard, scored 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting the first 20 minutes.
Neither team led by more than five points the second half. Houghton built a 38-34 edge with 11:03 to go, but Point Park mounted an 8-0 run to forge a 42-38 edge five minutes later.