Point Park comes up short in OT in upset bid of NAIA DII No. 22 IU EastFeb. 8, 2015
T.J. Lanier recorded a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds at IU East. Photo by Sam Robinson
RICHMOND, Ind. -- Point Park University men's basketball nearly pulled off its second upset of an NAIA Division II Top 25 team in a matter of weeks, but No. 22 IU East had Tyler Fangman make good on his senior day for an 84-81, overtime win on Sunday.
Fangman hit a big 3-pointer in the last minute of both the second half and the overtime period to ensure that IU East (21-7, 9-2 KIAC) held off the upset-minded Pioneers (12-10, 4-5 KIAC).
Point Park hadn't beaten a ranked team in four years before it knocked off then-No. 17 Cincinnati Christian in a KIAC game Jan. 20. The Pioneers were looking at another possible Top 25 win when they took a 65-53 lead over IU East with 8:34 left Sunday.
It was a strong second half by the Pioneers, and it had everything but the finishing touches.
Fangman, IU East's leading scorer, knocked down a big trey with 41 seconds left in regulation for a 73-71 lead. Then T.J. Lanier, who led Point Park with 24 points and 10 rebounds, hit two clutch free throws with 35 seconds remaining tie things up.
IU East milked the clock down to the final seconds, and overtime was necessary when Fangman missed a jumper in the lane as the buzzer sounded.
Jerah'me Williams put up his season averages of 21 points and six assists for Point Park, and his trey early in the overtime worked a 78-73 lead for the Pioneers.
But the Red Wolves knotted things up at 79-79 when Parker Salinas made a pair of free throws with 1:20 remaining.
After Williams missed a long-range jumper on Point Park's next possession, Fangman drilled what proved to be the big difference, a 3-pointer for an 82-79 lead with 41 seconds left in overtime.
IU East guarded the perimeter with the 3-point lead, which allowed Alan Heter to go down the lane for a two-handed dunk for two of his 17 points as the Pioneers pulled within 82-81.
Point Park fouled, and Salinas made another pair of free throws to up the lead back to 84-81.
The Pioneers called timeout to get together on a play to go the length of the court with 18 seconds left. Point Park worked the ball across the timeline against token pressure and looked to get into a play as the clocked ticked under 10.
But the Pioneers did not get a shot off as they turned it over in the closing seconds to end the hope for a tie.
With the victory, IU East clinched the KIAC North Division title. The Red Wolves hold a four-game lead over the rest of the division with three games to play.
Point Park entered the day trailing IU East by 2.5 games in the division with five to play, two of which were versus the Red Wolves. But the Pioneers will now have to focus on ensuring second-place in the division, which comes with a home game in the first round of the KIAC Tournament.
The Pioneers (4-5 KIAC) are currently tied with Rio Grande (17-9, 4-5 KIAC) for second place in the KIAC North, and they welcome the RedStorm for a home game Tuesday. The matchup has many playoff implications and tips off at 7:30 p.m.
Point Park trailed IU East, 40-36, at halftime but turned the tide in its favor with an 11-2 run to begin the second half. Yandell Denis, who totaled 15 points, nine rebounds and five steals, hit from the outside for the Pioneers' biggest lead, 65-53, with 8:34 to go. By that point, the Pioneers were outscoring IU East, 29-13, since halftime.
But IU East had plenty for the comeback with Fangman's 17 points coming on 5 for 11 from long range. Forward Huston Clark had a huge game with 29 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. And Davis' 10 points off the bench were also key to the comeback.
IU East, the No. 1 rebounding team in the nation, had a 58-43 lead on the boards. That included 24 offensive rebounds, which were turned into 24 points.
Point Park's starters played all but eight minutes of the 45-minute game. Meanwhile, a deep IU East team had nine players see at least 15 minutes of action and it led, 25-0, in bench points.
Point Park's bench was shortened given freshman guard Sa'iid Allen being unavailable due to an injury. Williams and Barry Smith played all 45 minutes, and Heter played all but 24 seconds.
Point Park dropped to 2-4 in KIAC road games, but three of its final four games are at home. That begins with Tuesday's big game versus Rio Grande. Point Park beat the RedStorm, 98-96, on the road Jan. 7. That is still the only home loss for Rio Grande, which is 12-1 at home and 3-6 on the road.
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