Point Park beats PSU-Fayette inside for 106-88 victory in non-conference play
Jan. 14, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Nick Brown had career highs of 39 points and 18 rebounds at Penn State-Fayette. Photo by Christopher Squier.
UNIONTOWN, Pa. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team went to work inside for a 106-88, non-conference victory at Penn State-Fayette on Tuesday night.
The Pioneers (9-9, 4-4 KIAC) dominated the rebounds, 52-37, and held a 50-28 advantage in points in the paint to come away wtih the 18-point victory over the Roaring Lions (5-9).
Nick Brown, a 6-7 senior forward, had career highs of 39 points and 18 rebounds for Point Park. He and teammate Matt Noszka, a 6-4 sophomore who had 16 points and 18 rebounds of his own, controlled the boards virtually by themselves. Josh Pohlot, a 6-5 senior, added 22 points and six rebounds as the Pioneers' frontcourt had big success.
Point Park had all five starters play 40 minutes, and the guards were productive as well. Senior Gabe McNeal put up 20 points, and senior point guard Robbie Heatherington collected nine points, seven assists and six rebounds.
The Pioneers got out to a 10-point lead, 17-7, the first five minutes, and they were ahead by as many as 15 points late in the first half. Point Park eventually took a 49-38 lead at halftime.
And although PSU-Fayette made four 3-pointers early in the second half to get within 64-60 with 14:18 left, Point Park had plenty of offense to pull away as the game wore on.
The Roaring Lions did threathen once more when they cut it to 76-70 with 10:57 left. But Point Park put together an 18-5 run with Brown, Pohlot and McNeal providing the scoring. That gave the Pioneers a 94-75 lead with 5:35 to to. The run was finished off with 3-pointers from Brown and McNeal and a transition layup by McNeal.
Brown, a native of Bristolville, Ohio, had 23 points the second half as his 39 points beat his previous career-high of 35 earlier this year versus Ohio Christian. Brown made 5 of 11 3-pointers and 8 of 9 free throws. On the boards, nine of his 18 rebounds were offensive.
Brown was six points off of tying the school record of 45 points in a single game. It did, however, establish a season-high for any Point Park player this year surpassing the 38 that McNeal put up at Indiana Kokomo.
Alongside his 16 points and 18 rebounds, the latter of which set a career high, Noszka also had three assists and three steals. McNeal and Pohlot also picked up three steals apiece, which helped the Pioneers hold a 19-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
Point Park shot 44 percent from the field and made 8 of 27 3-pointers. Not only did the Pioneers get their hands on the ball more than the Roaring Lions with their plus-15 rebound margin, they also turned it over just seven times, compared to 14 for PSU-Fayette.
The Roaring Lions got within striking distances on a couple of occasions thanks to making 16 treys on the night. PSU-Fayette was 16 for 35 from outside the arc for 46 percent, and nine of their makes came in the second half.
Matt McKenna led PSU-Fayette with 32 points and was 4 of 6 from long range. Luke Williams scored 18 points with all of that coming on a 6-for-10 showing from the outside.
After the non-conference win got the Pioneers back to .500 overall at 9-9, they will put their 4-4 KIAC record to the test in Saturday's home game versus Berea (Ky.). Game time is 3 p.m. at CCAC-South.
Berea at Point Park will be broadcast live on the Point Park Sports Network WATCH LIVE