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Men's Basketball Recap

Point Park men's basketball holds on for victory over Penn State-Fayette, 88-85

Nov. 12, 2014 at 11:50 p.m. ET

Alan Heter goes up for two of his 24 points with PSU-Fayette's Matt McKenna defending. Photo by Chris Squier.


WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- Point Park University men's basketball is now 21-0 all-time versus Penn State-Fayette. But this was the closest the Roaring Lions have come to beating the Pioneers.

Point Park (4-1) trailed for much of the game but used a 25-9 run down the stretch to erase an 11-point, second half deficit and eventually held off a hungry Penn State-Fayette (2-1) team, 88-85, on Wednesday night at CCAC-South Gym.

Point Park used its inside game to power past the Roaring Lions and got just enough perimeter play in what was cold shooting night from the outside for the Pioneers. The Pioneers also overcame a sloppy first half that included 11 turnovers to give the Roaring Lions the lead at the break.

Alan Heter, a 6-7 forward from McKees Rocks, Pa., had a huge game of 24 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks on 11 of 15 from the floor. He scored on the inside for an 84-79 lead with 2:44 left. That capped the 25-9 run by the Pioneers, which erased the Penn State-Fayette lead of 70-59 with 8:57 to go.

Point Park held a 58-34 advantage in points in the paint and led, 28-5, in second chance points. Going to work on the inside along with Heter was Barry Smith, a 6-6 senior from Penn Hills, Pa. Smith had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Nine of Smith's boards came on the offensive end, which helped Point Park lead, 18-0, on second-chance scoring the final 20 minutes.

Penn State-Fayette had a 46-39 lead at halftime with six made 3-pointers before the break. The Roaring Lions hit five more treys the second half, including two by Luke Williams in the final two minutes after Point Park's big run appeared to sew the game up for the Pioneers.

Williams hit from the outside to bring PSU-Fayette within 84-82 with 2:01 left. After Point Park's Art Christian gave the Pioneers an 86-82 edge on a put-back layup with 1:40 to go, Williams again kept the Roaring Lions in it with a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to make the score 86-85.

Point Park's Yandell Denis then missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw, and PSU-Fayette took over with 18 seconds left and down 1. But the Pioneers came up with a defensive stop as PSU-Fayette's Matt McKenna missed a driving layup on the baseline.

Denis grabbed the rebound in traffic  and was fouled with one second left. He redeemed himself by making two free throws at the other end to ice the game, 88-85, and a desperation shot from half court was no good at the buzzer.

It was a cold shooting night for Point Park with only 24-percent accuracy (6 for 25) from long range. Also, the Pioneers fell behind at the half with sloppy play as 11 of their 12 turnovers came before halftime.

And although Point Park took care of the ball the second half with just one turnover, the shooting never caught fire. But the Pioneers got just enough scoring from the outside, which was led by point guard Jerah'me Williams with 15 of his 22 points after halftime.

Williams made two big 3-pointers the second half, including a trey to put the Pioneers up, 81-79, with 3:45 to go. Moments earlier, Denis nailed a trey, which was followed by Williams' steal and transition layup for a 78-77 lead for the Pioneers. That was the first lead for Point Park since 14-12 with 14:20 left in the first half.

And although Jacob Bronder scored inside to regain the lead for PSU-Fayette, 79-77, Williams' trey followed that up to swing control back to the Pioneers.

Point Park held a 53-40 advantage in rebounds and shot 43 percent from the field. PSU-Fayette shot 46 percent from the floor, which included 11 of 28 (39 percent) from long range.

PSU-Fayette's McKenna led all scorers with 24 points and 10 rebounds although held was held to seven points the second half. McKenna had 17 points and made three 3-pointers the first half as the Roaring Lions built a couple of double-digit leads.

Williams ended up with 19 points for PSU-Fayette, and he made four 3-pointers. The Roaring Lions had four starters in double figures including 13 points and 10 rebounds from Bronder, who had all of his boards on the defensive end. Point Park's 53 rebounds included 21 on the offensive end.

Point Park is off this coming weekend and returns to action Nov. 19 at Washington Adventist for a non-conference road game. Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports #PPUHOOPS #PPUMBB