Point Park men get close but can't overcome deficit at No. 11 IU Southeast
Nov. 30, 2012 at 11:05 p.m. ET
Kegan Clark dunks for two of his 28 points as Point Park's Matt Noszka looks on. Photo by Matt Desmond.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team got a 21-point deficit down to five points with four minutes to play, but NAIA Division II No. 11 Indiana Southeast pulled away again on its way to a 96-91 win in KIAC play Friday night.
Point Park (5-3, 1-1 KIAC) was down, 69-48, with 14:15 left but battled back to get the IU Southeast lead down to 78-73 at the 4:09 mark. Although the Pioneers had the ball and were within two possessions, their next four possessions included three missed 3-pointers and a turnover.
By that time, IU Southeast (6-2, 1-1 KIAC) scored eight unanswered points to bump the lead back up to double digits, 86-73, with 2:37 to go. The Grenadiers, the defending KIAC champions and preseason conference favorites, did not do a good job of putting the game away at the free throw line to let Point Park make it close late.
The Pioneers made things a little interesting after 3-pointers from Gabe McNeal and Josh Arnold made it 96-89 with under 20 seconds left. But it was too little, too late for the Pioneers in their first-ever KIAC road game.
Arnold led all scorers with a career-high 32 points and also got a double-double with 10 rebounds. McNeal added 18 points off the bench with 16 coming the second half. McNeal had 10 rebounds, and joining him with a double-double off the bench was Asa Braxton with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Matt Noszka chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds. Noszka had 10 points by halftime and Arnold 14 as the Pioneers found themselves down by six, 48-42, at the break.
IU Southeast, which had five players in double figures led by forward Kegan Clark with 28 points and 12 rebounds, opened the second half on an 18-6 run for their biggest lead of 69-48. The 21-point spread left just 14:15 for a potential comeback by the Pioneers, and they nearly made it happen.
But in the end, the Pioneers did not hit enough key shots -- particularly from long range -- and made a few too many turnovers. Point Park was a respectable 9 of 25 (36 percent) from long range although it couldn't get the key ones to go down to tie or take the lead.
Point Park committed 21 turnovers -- which was two off the season high at Lake Erie -- and IU Southeast took advantage with a 23-13 edge in points off turnovers. At 5-3 overall, the Pioneers have made 23, 21 and 21 turnovers in their three losses but are averaging a much-lower 14.8 turnovers in their five victories.
Another trend in the Pioneers' three losses is their 24-percent shooting (20 of 81) from long range in those games. Point Park is shooting 39 percent (57 for 151) from downtown in its five wins.
Point Park's next game is Saturday (Dec. 1) at Brescia (Ky.) with a start time of 3 p.m. Central Time (4 p.m. Eastern Time). The Bearcats are 2-6 overall and 0-0 KIAC.
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