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Basketball Game Recap

NCAA DII #14 West Liberty wins shootout over NAIA DII Point Park, 138-92

Dec. 4, 2011

The Pioneers and coach Bob Rager discuss strategy during a game Nov. 16. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.



WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. -- Two of the highest-scoring offenses in small college basketball got together Sunday afternoon, and it was NCAA Division II #14 West Liberty coming away with a 138-92 victory over NAIA Division II Point Park University in a non-conference men's basketball game in West Liberty, W.Va.

Point Park (7-5, 1-0 AMC), which entered the game leading NAIA Division II in scoring at 93.6 ppg played into the hands of West Liberty (7-1, 4-0 WVIAC), which began the day averaging 97.4 ppg.

Point Park, which was receiving votes in last week's NAIA DII Top 25 Poll, fell behind, 51-25, with nine minutes left in the first half. The Pioneers' frenetic style that has put them among the top five offenses in the nation in four of the last six years contributed to the early deficit, but was also a reason why they battled back to within 60-51 with 2:32 left in the half.

But West Liberty, the NCAA Division II semifinalist from a year ago, ended the first half on another scoring barrage led by Tim Hausfeld as their 17 points in just over two minutes made it 77-56 at halftime. Hausfeld, a 5-7 guard, led all scorers with 28 points on 10 of 14 from the field and 8 of 11 from 3-point range. He made 6 of 9 from downtown in the opening 20 minutes.

Although Point Park had a brief uprising at the start of the second half, to cut it to 77-63, the Hilltoppers quickly bumped things up to 85-65 after a pair of treys from Hausfeld, and they led by at least 25 points the last 15 minutes.

Point Park point guard T.J. Heatherington scored 27 points with 22 of them coming in the first half. The 5-10 native of McKeesport, Pa., increased his NAIA Division II-leading scoring average of 25.1 ppg. Heatherington was 10 of 25 from the field, knocked down 3 of 5 3-pointers and made five assists.

Robbie Heatherington added 22 points for the Pioneers. He was 7 of 12 from the field, 4 of 6 from 3-point range and 4 for 4 from the foul line. Fellow backcourt player Jimmy Taylor scored 16 points on the strength of going 5 of 12 from outside the arc.

Asa Braxton chipped in 10 points off the bench, and Dante Anglin had 6 points and 13 rebounds. Anglin, a 6-5 senior forward from North Hills, Pa., is among the leaders in the nation at 10.4 rebounds per game.

After the loss to West Liberty, Point Park is averaging 93.5 ppg and giving up 88.8 ppg. The 138 points by the Hilltoppers, which are the second-most ever given up by a Point Park team, bumped the Pioneers' opponents' scoring average up by 4.4 ppg.

Last year, Point Park lost at West Liberty, 157-89, which set Point Park records for most points against and most combined points in a loss. Sunday's 230 combined points in a defeat are second only to the 246 last year.

Joining Hausfeld with 28 points for West Liberty was 6-6 forward Chris Morrow with 25 points, eight assists and six rebounds. He was 3 of 8 from 3-point range.

The Hilltoppers put eight players in double figures and were 19 of 48 from long range as a team. Off the bench, Michael Lopez scored 12 points on 4 of 8 from downtown, and Nick Borrow had 11 points on 3 of 4 from long range.

West Liberty shot 50 percent from the field and had an amazing 110 field goal attempts with 55 makes. Point Park shot 41 percent overall (33 of 80), which was brought down with its 31-percent shooting in the second half.

Point Park made 28 turnovers compared to 15 for West Liberty, and the Hilltoppers controlled the rebounding, 62-47. That contributed to Point Park getting 30 less shot attempts then West Liberty.

West Liberty was ahead, 13-1, after two and a half minutes as Hausfeld made 3 of 3 treys in the eary going. Point Park battled back to make it 15-9 two minutes later as T.J. Heatherington and Taylor each hit from the outside.

Moments later, the Hilltoppers were up, 27-12, and by the time they took their 51-25 lead with nine minutes left in the half, they had made nine 3-pointers and Point Park had 11 turnovers. In all, West Liberty was 12 of 26 from distance in the first half, and Point Park had 17 of its 29 turnovers.

Point Park responded with a 14-0 spurt that included nine points from T.J. Heatherington to get within 53-39 with 6:47 before the half. The run continued as Taylor knocked down a trey to make it 60-51 with 2:32 on the clock. But that's as close as Point Park would get the rest of the way.

Point Park scored the first seven points of the second half to cut it to 77-63 on two free throws by Devon Alexadner, a transition layup by Robbie Heatherington and a trey by Taylor. But West Liberty had the answer and put an end to the mometum in pulling away.

Point Park is off for the rest of the semester. Its next game is a home date versus American Mideast Conference opponent Walsh University on Jan. 3 (4 p.m.). Eleven of Point Park's remaining 12 games are in AMC play with the exception of the Jan. 4 visit to non-conference Salem International.