Point Park holds on for 80-74 win at Alice Lloyd, takes two-game streak to Asbury
Jan. 4, 2012 at 8:35 p.m. ET
Gabe McNeal scored a career-high 27 points in Friday's win at Alice Lloyd. Photo by Evan Skowvron.
PIPPA PASSES, Ky. -- Gabe McNeal had a career-high 27 points, and the Point Park University men's basketball team held on for its first road win of the year, 80-74, at Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College in KIAC action Friday night. Point Park (7-6, 3-4 KIAC) had been 0-4 on the road before Friday's victory.
It was the second win in a row for the Pioneers with both victories coming in KIAC games. Point Park will travel to Asbury (Ky.) University on a winning note for Saturday's 2 p.m. tipoff in Wilmore, Ky., although it nearly handed the win to Alice Lloyd (7-8, 1-2 KIAC).
Point Park was up by 10 at halftime, 43-33, and held a couple of 17-point leads in the second half, the last of which was at 71-54 with just under 5:00 to play. But with a combination of Alice Lloyd hitting some shots and several turnovers by the Pioneers, the lead was cut down to a single possession with one minute left.
By the time Alice Lloyd trimmed the margin to 73-70 with 1:00 to go, the host Eagles had run off a 16-2 run. The spurt was capped off by Tyler Rogers getting four points on one trip up the court. Not only did he convert a field goal, he then went to the line to sink two free throws when Point Park fouled him after the play was over.
Point Park's T.J. Heatherington scored a runner in the lane for a 75-70 lead only to have Alice Lloyd get a quick bucket at the other end. Although Heatherington knocked down a pair of free throws, Alice Lloyd scored an easy basket once again to stay within three, 77-74 with 12 seconds left.
Heatherington, an 87-percent free-throw shooter, then went to the line one more time and made both for a 79-74 edge. Alice Lloyd missed on its next possession, and McNeal made 1 of 2 charity shots to set the final of 80-74.
Point Park survived a season-high 24 turnovers, and Alice Lloyd had 18. Point Park senior guard Jimmy Taylor had 17 points, and his trey gave the Pioneers the 71-54 lead with less than 5:00 remaining.
Point Park had also led, 63-46, midway through the second half. Although Alice Lloyd got the deficit down to 63-53 moments later, the Pioneers rattled off eight of the next nine points to put the game seemingly out of reach.
McNeal, a junior from Richmond, Va., who tranferred this year from Shaw (N.C.) University, had seven rebounds and five steals to go along with his 27 points. He picked up the scoring for a Point Park lineup that was shorthanded.
Taylor, a Keystone Oaks HS product who in his second year at Point Park since transferring from CCAC-Allegheny, started for the second game in a row. He posted another big game, which included five rebounds and three assists.
Asa Braxton, a senior guard, gave Point Park three players in double figures with 12 points. He has averaged 11.2 ppg the last six games, and he has five games in double figures in that stretch. Braxton got hot early as his 3-pointer put Point Park up 33-22 with 5:25 left in the first half. Braxton already had nine points at that juncture.
Point Park finally got a road victory and is now 1-4 on the road this year. Friday's game started a stretch of five road games in six contests. That stretch continues Saturday at Asbury with another key, KIAC game at 2 p.m.
The game at Asbury will be aired live on internet radio by the Point Park student radio station WPPJ on www.MSAsports.net. Live video will be available at the Asbury website although fans will need to tune in to the MSAsports broadcast for audio. Also available for download are Game Notes.