Washington Adventist rallies past Point Park for 81-77 victory
Dec. 4, 2014 at 11:50 p.m. ET
Point Park's Jerah'me Williams (right) is defended by WAU's Jerry McFadded on Thursday night.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- Washington Adventist rallied for an 81-77 road win over Point Park University in a non-conference men's basketball game on Thursday at CCAC-South Gym.
Point Park (7-4) had double-digit leads in both halves, but Washington Adventist (5-5) had a big second half to come storming back. Point Park opened the second half on a 17-4 run to build a lead of 54-37 with 13:26 left. But Washington Adventist outscored the Pioneers, 44-23, the rest of the way.
Point Park had cold shooting the second half with just 36-percent accuracy from the field the final 20 minutes. That included 1 for 10 from 3-point range in the half and 3 for 22 for the game. The Pioneers also made nine of their 14 turnovers after halftime, several of which were of the costly variety that led to easy baskets in transition going the other way.
Junior guard Yandell Denis, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, led Point Park with 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Jerah'me Williams addd 17 points, and 6-6 forward Barry Smith totaled 13 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. T.J. Lanier added 15 points off the bench to bring double digits as a reserve for the fourth time in the past six games.
Point Park was in control after it scored 17 of the first 21 points of the second half. That the Pioneers asserted themselves at the start of the second stanza was a good response to how the first half ended. Point Park was enjoying an 11-point lead of 35-24 lead with 4:36 before halftime. But Washington Adventist made it a one-possession game, 37-34, at the break thanks to a 10-2 run to close the half.
No matter, Point Park quickly regained an even bigger lead the first seven minutes after halftime. But the Shock kept chipping away, and the Pioneers went cold from the floor. It took a full 10 minutes for Washington Adventist to fully comeback, but it eventually did just that, knotting the score at 71-71 with 3:48 to go.
After forging the tie, Washington Adventist leaked out for a couple of big baskets to take control -- first on Markell Young's fast-break layup after a steal by Eric Lindsey, and second on a breakaway dunk by Lindsey that followed a long rebound of a missed 3-pointer on Point Park's end. That resulted in a 76-71 lead with 2:18 to go. Then Martin Wilson tacked a big 3-pointer on top of that for a 79-73 advantage at the 1:51 mark.
Point Park got as close at 79-77 with 16 seconds left, but it missed some big free throws late and also missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds with the score 80-77. Washington Adventist was just 8 for 18 from the foul line on the line but made one with one second left on the clock to put the game away.
Point Park ended up made 16 of 24 free throws for 67 percent. That included 15 for 21 the second half.
The Pioneers grabbed 12 steals, forced 19 turnovers, blocked seven shots but found themselves on the wrong end of the rebounding, 55-44. Washington Adventist grabbed 23 offensive rebounds for many key looks on its second chance.
Four starters finished in double figures for the Shock, who returned the favor to Point Park for the Pioneers' 80-70 win at Washington Adventist on Nov. 19. Lindsey scored all 18 of his points the second half. Lebrent Walker turned in 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Martin Wilson chipped in 14 points and 17 rebounds. Tyrus Fleetwood led the perimeter scoring with 17 points and five assists on 4 for 9 from long range.
Point Park lost for the second time in a row for the first time this season. The Pioners lost at West Virginia Tech, 90-70, on Tuesday and will be back in action this Saturday at home verus KIAC opponent Cincinnati Christian for a non-conference game. Tipoff is 3 p.m. at CCAC-South Gym.