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Basketball News

Austin, Henderson carry Point Park to victory over Midway (Ky.)

Nov. 14, 2009

RIO GRANDE, Ohio - The backcourt duo of April Austin and Ashley Henderson carried the Point Park University women's basketball team to a 97-88 victory over Midway (Ky.) in the consolation game of the Bevo Francis Tournament hosted by Rio Grande Saturday.


Austin (Penn Hills/North Catholic) led all scorers with 26 points in her second career game while Henderson (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic) chipped in 15 points. Austin, a freshman point guard who had a team-high 19 points in her collegiate debut Friday, was named to the all-tournament team.


Henderson, who was named the American Mideast Conference Newcomer of the Year last year in her first season at Point Park, scored 11 points in the first half to help the Pioneers (1-1) build a 50-37 lead at the break.

Henderson, a junior guard, started her career at Pitt and Canisius before coming to Point Park last year. Henderson (pictured) led the Pioneers in scoring at 15.6 points per game as a sophomore.

After Henderson's big first half, it was Austin who turned in an impressive second half. The former all-state player out of North Catholic High School scored 19 of her 26 points after halftime as Point Park pulled away.

Midway (1-5) cut the Point Park lead to 55-49 with 16:48 to play, but Austin sparked an 11-3 run that allowed the Pioneers to put the game out of reach. During the run, the 5-6 point guard nailed three 3-pointers to give Point Park a 66-52 advantage with 14:02 remaining.

Although Midway got within 66-59 with 13:00 to go, the Pioneers mounted a 24-8 spurt over the next nine minutes to take their biggest lead, 90-67, at the 4:07 mark. The Pioneers maintained their double-digit lead until a 3-pointer at the buzzer made the final margin nine points.

Point Park played in the consolation game after dropping their season opener to Bluefield (Va.), 74-68, on Friday. The 97 points scored by Point Park Saturday were the most by the program since a 101-90 win over Penn State-Fayette two years ago.

Austin and Henderson were the only Point Park players to reach double figures, although the high offensive output was due to balanced scoring.

Five Point Park players scored eight points apiece, and four of those players, Joncelyn Peterkin, Brittney Wilson, Terrica Jones and Ashley Bergman are West Mifflin natives. Katy Auth (Bellevue/Northgate) joined Wilson, Jones and Bergman in scoring eight points off the bench.

Along with their eight points, Wilson and Auth tied for the team lead with six rebounds each.

Austin's 26 points were aided by a 4-for-8 performance from 3-point range. As a team, Point Park shot 52 percent (12 of 23) from long range. Henderson, Wilson and Bergman made two treys apiece. Henderson was 6 of 9 from the field.

Point Park shot 46 percent (30 of 66) from the field and led in rebounding, 37-34. Midway shot 47 percent overall and 48 percent (11 of 23) from beyond the 3-point arc.

Jackie Hicks kept Midway in the game by leading three players in double figures with 24 points. Hicks was 7 of 14 from the floor and 5 of 9 from long range. Erica Smiley added 15 points, and Katie Mayes chipped in 13 points off the bench.

Midway held an 11-10 lead after 4:30, but then Point Park but together an 11-1 run to lead 21-12 midway through the first half.

Midway cut the lead to 25-20 at the 7:16 mark, but Point Park bumped the lead back to double digits, 40-30, on Wilson's 3-pointer four minutes later.

The Pioneers closed the first half on a strong note, and led by as many as 15 in the closing minutes of the first stanza. Point Park was up 48-33 after an 8-1 spurt that featured 3-pointers by Henderson and Bergman and a layup by Jones.

Point Park will resume non-conference play by visiting Penn State-Fayette Tuesday. Tipoff is 5 p.m.