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Basketball Game Recap

Point Park women roll past Rio Grande behind Austin, Peterkin

Dec. 30, 2011

April Austin had 26 points and a school-record eight 3-pointers on Friday. File photo by Chelsey Engel.



WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- Point guard April Austin had 26 points and a school-record eight 3-pointers and center Joncelyn Peterkin added 20 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks to power the Point Park University women's basketball team to a 28-point blowout of Rio Grande, 83-55, Friday afternoon at CCAC-South Gymnasium.
Rio Grande (10-4) had won six of seven games before losing for the second time this year to Point Park (9-4, 1-0 AMC).
Austin, a 5-6 junior from Penn Hills, Pa., and North Catholic High School, was 8 for 9 from 3-point range and also added five assists. Her eight treys bested the previous mark of six, which she shared with three others -- Brittney Wilson, Lindsay Dibble and Kathy Krebs.
Austin hit three treys as part of a 14-4 run to close the first half. That spurt helped Point Park seize control and take a 35-23 lead into the locker room. The half ended with a 40-foot, 3-point heave from Austin to push the lead to double digits.
Peterkin, a 6-2 center from West Mifflin, Pa., had 11 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks by halftime. She continued her strong play after the break, and her 19 boards set a career high. The 20 points and six blocks were both one shy of matching a career mark.
Austin now has 144 career treys, which trails Brittney Wilson (2006-10) by one for the Point Park career record. Austin holds the school, single-season record for treys with the 65 she hit as a freshman in 2009-10.
Rio Grande entered the game averaging 74.7 points per game. But the Point Park defense, which ranks fifth in NAIA Division II is opponent's scoring, held the Red Storm to 20 points below their average.
Point Park limited Rio Grande to 31-percent shooting overall and 1 for 11 (9 percent) from 3-point range. The Pioneers forced 22 turnovers and dominated the rebounds, 57-35.
Rio Grande did not have a starter reach double figures in scoring. Jayvonna Saddler led the Red Storm with 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Things were close in the early going as the teams were tied at 7-7 seven minutes into the game. Point Park worked a 20-14 lead at the 6:40 mark only to have Rio Grande get within 21-19 with 3:34 to go before the break.
That's when Point Park turned on its scoring with the key, 14-4 run to end the half. The run continued after halftime as the Pioneers turned a relatively low-scoring game early on into their second-highest scoring output of the year. Only the 91-29 win over Penn State-Fayette had more points for the Pioneers.
Point Park shot 52 percent from the floor the final 20 minutes, which included 7 of 8 from long range.
Point Park still led, 40-25, with 16:51 to go. The lead reached 20 points, 50-30, four minutes later. Rio Grande started to make a move and was down 50-34, but 10 straight points by the Pioneers put an end to any hopes of a comeback. The 10-0 spurt included two treys by Austin for a 60-34 lead with 10:09 left.
Point Park was ahead by at least 20 the rest of the way, and the final margin of 28 was the biggest difference.
Friday's game was the third meeting between the two teams this year. Point Park upset Rio Grande, 73-66, on Nov. 12 in the championship game of the Red Storm's Bevo Francis Tournament. Rio Grande then stung Point Park with a 77-67 loss on Dec. 3.
Point Park returns to action on Tuesday with a home date versus American Mideast Conference foe Walsh University. Game time is 2 p.m. at CCAC-South Gymnasium. Thirteen of Point Park's final 14 games are within AMC play.