Point Park improves to 2-0 with 94-85 win over University of Toronto
Nov. 3, 2012 at 7:50 p.m. ET
AMHERST, N.Y. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team fought off a University of Toronto rally with a late, 10-0 run to protect a 94-85 win on Day 2 of the Knee Center of Western New York Tip-Off Classic hosted by Daemen (NY) College on Saturday afternoon.
Point Park (2-0) built a 22-point lead, 59-37, with 16:01 to play, but Toronto (6-5) chipped away at the lead behind Arun Kumar, who had a game-high 43 points. Kumar hit a pair of 3-pointers to move the Varsity Blues within 80-76 with 6:55 left, but Point Park responded with a quick, 10-0 run to take back control, 90-76.
The Pioneers' late run was led by senior Babatunde Somoye, a 6-9, 280-pound center from London, England, who had 21 points and 19 rebounds. After Gabe McNeal hit a 3-pointer to regain the 10-point lead, 86-76, Somoye scored inside and hit a couple of free throws to put Toronto at bay.
Point Park had six players in double figures led by Somoye's double-double. Senior Josh Arnold, a newcomer from West Virginia Tech and a former star at Monessen High School, totaled 18 points and six rebounds off the bench. Junior guard Robbie Heatherington put in 15 points on 3 of 6 shooting from long range to go with six assists and three steals.
Senior point guard T.J. Heatherington added 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and freshman forward Matt Noszka scored 10 points. Gabe McNeal chipped in 12 points for the Pioneers, who shot 44 percent from the field but only 26 percent (8 of 31) from 3-point range.
It was the post presence of Somoye, who was 8 of 16 from the floor, and the mid-range scoring of Arnold (7 of 13 FGs), a 6-5 guard/forward, that made up for Point Park's misfiring from the perimeter. Point Park was 4 of 16 from long range the first half and 4 of 15 the second half. But the Pioneers took care of business with scoring near the basket with a 48-22 edge in points in the paint.
Toronto guard Kumar almost single-handedly brought his team back from the 22-point deficit. He scored 30 of his 43 points the second half and made 6 of 9 treys after halftime. He ended up 15 of 27 from the field (7 of 13 from 3-pt FGs) and 6 of 7 from the foul line.
The Varsity Blues were very cold from the perimeter the first half as they made only 1 of 14 from deep to fall behind 45-33 at the break. But they turned that around -- mostly due to Kumar -- by hitting 9 of 15 second-half treys.Ben Garvin was the only other Toronto player in double figures with 13, 10 of which came the first half.
Toronto shot 44 percent from the field to match Point Park, but committed 19 turnovers. The Pioneers took advantage of those turnovers and led, 27-8 in points off turnovers, while getting its excellent transition game in high gear.
Point Park was up, 25-15, 11:07 left in the first half after a 10-2 run was capped with Arnold's slam dunk. Robbie Heatherington hit a 3-pointer to later put the Pioneers ahead, 41-23, with 3:07 before the half.
The Pioneers came out of the halftime locker room on a 14-4 run for their biggest lead of 22 points, 59-37, with 16:01 to play.
Point Park's next game is Nov. 14 at NCAA Division II Lake Erie.
NOTES: Somoye's 19 rebounds are tied for the 6th-most in school history in a single game. The record is 27 by Kenny Walls in 1994. . .After two games, the Pioneers have seven players averaging in double figures on the young season...Point Park is averaging 91.5 ppg including its 89-72 win over Western Ontario on Friday.
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