Point Park women use defensive stand to beat La Roche, 50-44
Dec. 20, 2011
Kristen Beatty had 11 points for Point Park in Tuesday's win. File photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- The Point Park University women's basketball team held visiting La Roche College scoreless the final 6:30 and scored the last nine points of the game on its way to a 50-44, non-conference victory Tuesday night at CCAC-South Gymnasium.
Point Park (8-4, 1-0 AMC) is now responsible for both losses for La Roche (7-2, 4-0 AMCC), which went 0 for 6 from the field, did not shoot a foul shot and made three turnovers after matching its biggest lead of the game, 44-41, with 6:30 to play.
Point Park also won at La Roche, 58-51, Nov. 17. The Redhawks had won six in a row before Tuesday night.
Point Park shot just 25 percent (6 for 24) the second half, but its late defensive stand along with some key buckets and key free throws were enough to win for the fourth time in five games and the third time in a row.
The Pioneers entered the game ranking seventh in the NAIA Division II in scoring defense (55.3 ppg) and opponents' field-goal percentage (.345). Those averages went down to 54.3 ppg and .344 after Tuesday's win.
April Austin, a junior point guard from Penn Hills, Pa., led all scorers with 19 points for Point Park. She was 3 for 6 from 3-point range and came up big at the foul line by making 6 of 8 free throws.
Point Park drew even at 44-44 with 3:30 to go when Kristen Beatty scored inside for two of her 11 points. Center Joncelyn Peterkin then broke the deadlock with an inside bucket for a 46-44 lead with 2:18 to play.
After Austin made 1 of 2 free throws to pad the lead to 47-44 with 1:35 left, the Pioneers needed a couple more possessions of defense to seal the game. Still trailing, 47-44, La Roche took possession with under 30 seconds left, and forward Jessica Pitts got a look at a layup underneath.
But Peterkin, who ranks fifth in the nation in blocks per game, rejected Pitts' shot, and Austin was fouled as she got the rebound with six seconds left. Also, the La Roche bench was called for a technical foul. Austin then made 3 of 4 foul shots to stretch the final margin to 50-44. La Roche missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Pitts was the only La Roche player in double figures with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Amanda Garland added nine points, and Cassie Cygan chipped in eight.
Katresa Savisky added eight key points off the Point Park bench, and she was the reserve player to see more than four minutes of action.
Emily Schartner had five points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists for Point Park. Peterkin's late basket accounted for her only two points, but she had seven rebounds and three blocks.
Both teams had plenty of turnovers as La Roche had 24 and Point Park 20. The 50 points for Point Park were its fewest in a victory this year. La Roche was held to 22 points below its average.
Point Park shot 36 percent overall, which benefitted from 48 percent (11 of 23) in the first half. La Roche ended up at 33 percent for the night.
Point Park used a 10-1 run to get out to a 21-13 lead with 6:20 left in the first half. The Pioneers' lead of 27-17 was their biggest of the night, and it came on a deep trey from Austin with 2:33 before the half.
La Roche got within 29-23 at halftime and then opened the second half on a 10-1 run for a 33-30 lead with 15:24 to go. Point Park scored the next seven points to go up, 37-33, only to have La Roche mount an 11-4 run for its 44-41 led with 6:30 to play.
Point Park is off until Dec. 30 when it plays host to Rio Grande (2 p.m.). Point Park and Rio Grande (10-3) have split two games so far this year.
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