Eagles Comeback Falls Short Against Pioneers
WILMORE, Ky. – Asbury’s comeback bid fell short in a 102-97 loss to Point Park on Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers closed the first half on a 13-0 run and led by 21 (53-32) at the break. The Eagles cut the lead down to three twice in the final minute.
Point Park (8-6, 4-4 KIAC) led by as much as 23 in the second half but Asbury started to chip away as they went with a smaller lineup and started to apply pressure. The Eagles got a big lift from two players making their season debuts in Marquel Johnson and CJ Penny.
Penny picked up three fouls in two minutes of action in the first half before playing 13 in the second, scoring 17 points and grabbing five rebounds and playing most of that time with four fouls. Johnson also played with foul trouble, logging 14 minutes all in the second half and scoring five points. It was Johnson’s three in the corner with 55 seconds left that cut the Point Park lead to three (100-97). TJ Heatherington answered with a driving layup at the end of the shot clock for PPU. After a jumper by Penny, Heatherington sealed the game with two free throws, his 19th and 20th made free throws in the game.
Heatherington finished with a game-high 34 points and six assists. Last year he led NAIA II in scoring per game but scored just five points in the first meeting against the Eagles, a 91-72 win for Asbury on December 17. On Saturday Heatherington made 20-of-22 free throws and was also 7-of-13 from the floor. Three Pioneers recorded double-doubles highlighted by Gabe McNeal’s 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Asbury was led by Adam Delph’s 24 points, his 10th 20-point game of the season. Delph also grabbed five rebounds and handed out five assists. Austin Flannery added 14 points including knocking down 4-of-8 from three point range. Lee’Vaughn Morris chipped in with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists and Dakotah Euton scored 11 points.
The story of the game was by far fouls and free throws. Point Park made 27-of-30 from the line and Asbury made 15-of-16. The Eagles were whistled for 28 fouls in the game while PPU was called for only 14. The Pioneers shot 52 percent from the floor and the Eagles hit on 48 percent.
Asbury will travel to Richmond, Ind. to battle Indiana East on Wednesday at 7pm.