Point Park holds off Brescia (Ky.), 82-79, with late heroics by Heatherington
Dec. 14, 2013 at 7:45 p.m. ET
Alan Heter had 17 points in the 82-79, home win over Brescia (Ky.) on Saturday. Photo by Chris Squier.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team held off visiting Brescia (Ky.) University for an 82-79, KIAC home win on Saturday afternoon at CCAC-South Gym.
The Pioneers (7-6, 3-1 KIAC) were enjoying a 20-point lead of 68-48 with 7:54 to go, but Brescia (5-5, 0-1 KIAC) came storming back thanks to its 15 made 3-pointers on the day, 10 of which came in the second half.
Point Park's Robbie Heatherington drained a 3-pointer at the top of the key with six seconds left to provide the game-winning points, 82-79. With the 3-point lead, the Pioneers opted to foul in the backcourt and send Brescia to the foul line.
Brescia's Troy Halcomb missed the first free throw, and when he missed the second on purpose, Heatherington cleared the rebound and dribbled out the final two seconds.
Heatherington finished with 14 points and four assists as one of five Point Park players in double figures. He scored the Pioneers' final five points, which included calmly sinking two free throws with 29 seconds left for a 79-76 cushion.
But Brescia guard Decarlos Collier, who had just hit from long range to cut it to 77-76, hit again from downtown to tie it up at 79-79 with 22 seconds remaining. Point Park called timeout to set up the play for Heatherington's game-winning shot.
Point Park's 20-point lead was built on a strong second half that had the Pioneers shot 63 percent the final 20 minutes. Leading scorer Gabe McNeal (23.9 ppg) had 19 of his 23 points after halftime in leading the second-half charge.
Senior forward Nick Brown (20.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg) got another double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. He had 11 and nine by halftime in keeping the Pioneers up by a slim margin of 32-28 at the break. Brown made a huge 3-point play with 2:11 left in the game to give the Pioneers a 77-68 cushion.
Forward Alan Heter scored 17 points on 8 of 11 shooting, and Matt Noszka notched a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Brown, McNeal and Heatherington each played all 40 minutes.
Collier led Brescia with 17 points, one of four players in double figures. The Bearcats were 15 of 41 from 3-point range for 37 percent. Brescia made 10 of 23 treys (44 percent) the second half to comeback.
Brescia needed a comeback after the Pioneers got things going at the start of the second half. An 8-0 run got Point Park out to a 40-33 lead with 17:38 left.
The Pioneers kept the pedal down as McNeal's jumper capped an 11-2 run for a 68-48 lead with 7:54 left. McNeal, who was held to four points in the first half, made 7 of 11 field goals the second 20 minutes to finish with his average of 23 points.
Within two minutes, Brescia had an 11-0 run thanks to two treys by Hunter Rowe and a conventional 3-point by by Collier to cut it to 68-59 at the 5:36 mark. Halcomb hit from the outside to make it a two-possession game, 72-66, two minutes later.
The first half was tied five teams and neither team led by more than the five-point lead by Point Park, 28-23, late. The 28 points by Brescia the first half were the fewest the Pioneers have given up this year in a first half. The 32 points were the second-fewest by the Pioneers in an opening 20 minutes this season.
Brescia was cold shooting from deep in the first half at 5 for 18 (27 percent). The Bearcats heated up from the perimeter the second half to get back into it.
At 3-1 KIAC, Point Park is the conference leader in victories. Point Park's 7-6 record overall includes being 5-1 at home. The Pioneers are off for the next three weeks for the holiday break. The next games are Jan. 4-5 at No. 4 Indiana Southeast and Brescia (Ky.).
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