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Men's Basketball Recap

Point Park makes big comeback in 2nd half but comes up short at Alice Lloyd

Jan. 11, 2014 at 11:30 p.m. ET

Gabe McNeal had 28 points and made 8 fo 10 free throws in the loss at Alice Lloyd. Photo by Chris Squier.


PIPPA PASSES, Ky. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team erased an 18-point, first half deficit, but had its second-half rally come up short in a 71-68, KIAC loss at Alice Lloyd (Ky.) on Saturday.

Point Park (8-9, 4-4 KIAC) trailed by as much as 43-25 late in the first half and was down, 43-27, at the break.

But the Pioneers erased all of that deficit and had the scored tied on three occasions in the last five minutes and twice in the final two minutes. But Point Park never led at any point in the game as Alice Lloyd (8-6, 3-1 KIAC) held on for the win.

Point Park senior Gabe McNeal continued his season-long scoring binge with 28 points. He had 14 of the Pioneers' 27 points at the half as the 6-2 native of Richmond, Va., kept the pulse alive for Point Park.

The Pioneers got right to work out of the halftime locker room as their 12-4 run cut the 16-point deficit in half to 47-39 after barely two minutes. Nick Brown, who posted a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer to cap the rally.

Alice Lloyd, which shot 53 percent the first half to build the big lead, maintained a lead of a couple possessions in the second half despite increased defense from Point Park. Alice Lloyd shot only 37 percent the second half, which included 1 for 13 from long range.

With the defense picking up, Point Park also got the offense going. Down 62-55 with 7:00 remaining, that's when the Pioneers made their move.

Brown made a driving layup, and McNeal knocked down four free throws as part of a 6-0, mini run to get the Pioneers within 62-61 at the 6:00 mark. One minute later, McNeal drained one of his two 3-pointers to knot things up a 64-64 with 5:00 to play.

Later, Point Park had possession with the score tied at 66-66 with 1:58 remaining. The Pioneers called timeout to set up a play, but they turned it over, which led to a transition bucket for the Eagles and a 68-66 lead.

Josh Pohlot answered for Point Park with an inside basket after being set up by teammate Robbie Heatherington for one of his seven assists. The score was knotted again at 68-68 with 1:00 to go.

On Alice Lloyd's next trip, Tyler Rogers got free for a layup and an important lead of 70-68 with under 30 seconds remaining. The Pioneers got a shot off on the other end, but it didn't go down. Tyler Brewer then made 1 of 2 free throws for Alice Lloyd, and Brown's half-court heave at the buzzer was no good for Point Park.

With the loss, Point Park split the games on its KIAC, weekend road trip. Point Park won at Berea (Ky.), 85-75, on Friday night but did not have enough to make it a 2-0 weekend, particularly in the first half.

The Pioneers fell behind, 31-11, after 12 minutes at Alice Lloyd in what was their second conference road game in less than 24 hours. Furtthermore, the Pioneers played just six players for the second day in a row, two of which played all 40 minutes of both games. Point Park had starters McNeal, Brown, Heatherington and Pohlot each play 40 minutes at Alice Lloyd.

Point Park made a big push with its comeback, but it could not make up for the first half in which it shot just 36 percent (9 of 25) overall and 2 of 12 from 3-point range. Point Park ended up shooting 38 percent for the day and 6 of 23 from outside the arc.

Alice Lloyd shot 45 percent for the day, which got a big boost from the 53 percent the first 20 minutes. The Eagles made eight treys the first half and were 9 of 26 from long range in the game.

Stewart Stamper had a team-high 20 points and made a couple of 3-pointers for Alice Lloyd. Cody Stumbo scored 15 points and was 3 of 6 from outside the arc.

Point Park won the rebounding battle, 32-27, but lost the turnover difference, 12-7.

A trend continued for Point Park in which it is now 1-23 since 2005 in games in which it scores less than 70 points. The next-most recent such loss came last Sunday at Brescia (Ky.), 89-69, which was also the second game of back-to-back road games.

The Pioneers get back into action Tuesday at PSU-Fayette for a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m. before hosting Berea (Ky.) for a KIAC game Jan. 18 at 3 p.m.