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#11 Walsh ends game on big run, beats Point Park women, 68-48

Feb. 1, 2011BOXSCORE

Austin1-29-11
April Austin had 16 points and made of 4 of 6 3-pointers Tuesday. Photo by Lyddia Anrkom. 

BOXSCORE

NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Walsh University, the #11 team in NAIA Division II women’s basketball, ended the game on a 25-2 run to beat visiting Point Park University, 68-48, in an American Mideast Conference game Tuesday night.  

Point Park (11-11, 3-8 AMC) led 30-23 at halftime and was ahead, 46-43, 12:42 to go. But Walsh (19-4, 10-1 AMC) won for the 14th time in a row by holding the Pioneers to two points the rest of the way.

The Walsh defense held Point Park to 23-percent (6 of 26) shooting the second half and kept the Pioneers off the scoreboard the final 7:00. It was the 10th consecutive conference win for the Cavaliers, who moved up to a season-high ranking of #11 in Monday’s NAIA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll.

April Austin, a sophomore point guard from Penn Hills, Pa., led Point Park with 16 points and made 4 of 6 3-pointers. Senior guard Ashley Henderson, a Greensburg, Pa., native, had 12 points and six rebounds.

Walsh had three players in double figures led by center Cara Bedard’s 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Jessie Miller added 16 points and four assists while forward Kayla Kovach had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Austin hit a trey to give Point Park a 36-29 lead three minutes into the second half. With 12:42 to go, Henderson knocked down a long-distance jumper as the Pioneers led, 46-43. But Walsh scored 15 straight points over the next five minutes as the host Cavaliers were up, 58-46, at the 7:40 mark.

Point Park’s Kristen Beatty connected on a jumper to make it a 10-point game, 58-48, with 7:00 remaining, but those were the last points of the night for the Pioneers.

Point Park took a 30-23 lead at the break after shooting 50 percent (13 of 26) from the field and holding Walsh to 36 percent (9 of 25) the first 20 minutes. The Pioneers made a 13-4 run to assume a 20-11 lead with 8:50 left in the half. Walsh responded with an 8-2 spurt to make it 22-19 four minutes later.

Things changed in the second half, however, as Walsh shot 68 percent and held a 22-11 advantage on the boards the final 20 minutes. The Cavaliers were 19 of 28 from the field the second half, and they ended up shooting 53 percent for the night. Walsh held a 35-29 lead in total rebounds and held the Pioneers to 36-percent shooting.

Point Park was 5 of 11 from 3-point range, although that was due mostly to Austin’s 4-for-6 performance. Forward Terrica Jones started for the first time this year. She led the team with eight rebounds to go with four points. Kristen Beatty made 4 of 5 field goals for eight points off the bench.

Center Joncelyn Peterkin tallied four points, four rebounds, three assists and five blocks. Peterkin, a 6-2 junior, moved into third place in school history with 114 career blocks. She passed Annette Etzel (110) Tuesday, and Charlisa Cummins (118) is next on the list. Lori Bradfield holds the Point Park record with 123 career blocks from 1995-97.

Point Park is in action Saturday for an AMC game at Ursuline. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Pepper Pike, Ohio. With five games remaining, Point Park is  3.5 games out of the AMC playoff picture.  Three of the five scheduled AMC games were postponed due to weather Tuesday. The only other game to be played was Notre Dame’s 80-53 victory over Ursuline.