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Men's Basketball Recap

West Virginia Tech runs away from Point Park men for 92-80 victory

Nov. 25, 2014 at 11:55 p.m. ET

West Virginia Tech's Jauries Thomas (22) goes up against Point park's Barry Smith (3). Photo by Derrik Whiten.


WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- West Virginia Tech used a big, second-half run to turn a close game into a double-digit margin on its way to a 92-80 victory at Point Park University's Tuesday night at CCAC-South Gym.

Point Park (6-2) built a 53-47 lead with 12:31 to go, which was one of the biggest leads for either team at that point. The NAIA, non-conference opponents that each entered Tuesday at 6-1 overall were separated by no more than two possessions for the first 28 minutes.

But West Virginia Tech (7-1) called a timeout after Point Park's 7-0 run gave it the six-point lead. The Golden Bears came out of the timeout on a 17-2 run over the next three minutes to turn the tables on the Pioneers for a 64-55 lead. The lead reached double digits at 67-57 with 6:07 to play.

The Pioneers called a few timeouts to try to slow down West Virginia Tech, but there was no slowing down the Golden Bears, who shot 58 percent from the floor and made 5 of 11 3-pointers the second half.

The biggest lead for WVU Tech was 86-69 with two minutes remaining. That was as a result of a 39-16 advantage over the previous 10 minutes.

Junior guard Yandell Denis led Point Park with 21 points, six rebounds and a 6-for-9 performance from 3-point range. Point Park made another 11 treys to match their season average that ranks second in NAIA Division II. The Pioneers made five 3-pointers the first half and stacked another six on top of that after halftime, but it was not enough to keep up.

Point Park made nine turnovers in each half and was out-rebounded, 45-38. West Virginia Tech held a big advantage in free throws making 19 of 26 shots for 73 percent while Point Park made just 5 of 13 attempts (38 percent).

Point guard Jerah'me Williams totaled 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Pioneers. Senior forward Alan Heter added a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Barry Smith chipped in 16 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Leon Cooper, Jr., a 6-4 guard, led all scorers with 29 points for West Virginia Tech. He made a couple of 3-pointers but did a lot of damage at the foul line shooting 11 for 11 from there. Jaren Marino added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Bears.

Jauries Thomas, a 6-6 forward, put up 14 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow inside player Sherife Sergeant, a 6-8 center, added added 11 points and four rebounds. The inside duo keyed the second-half run and helped the Golden Bears assert their NAIA Division-I leading rebounding attack.

Point Park held a slim lead of 36-34 at halftime. That was after West Virginia Tech came up cold from the outside the first 20 minutes making only 2 of 12 treys the first half. On top of that, the Golden Bears did not attempt a free throw before the half.

Things were different the second half as West Virginia Tech made 58 percent overall, 5 of 11 from 3-point range and was 19 of 26 from the foul line -- all in just 20 minutes.

Point Park will be in action again at home on Monday, Dec. 1 versus Maine-Fort Kent. Tipoff is 4 p.m. at CCAC-South Gym. The Pioneers and West Virginia Tech will meet again in one week with a road game on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports #PPUHOOPS