Point Park men get back to offensive ways in blowout of IU Kokomo
Jan. 10, 2015 at 11:45 p.m. ET
Alan Heter takes a pass from Sa'iid Allen before feeding Art Christian for a basket versus IU Kokomo. Photo by Karina Graziani.
PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University men's basketball didn't leave any doubt in the outcome of Saturday's KIAC home game with IU Kokomo as the Pioneers raced to a 21-point halftime lead and eventually won, 107-93.
The Pioneers (10-6, 2-2 KIAC) were ahead by 31 points, 102-71, when they pulled their starters with five minutes remaining. IU Kokomo (7-10, 1-1 KIAC) made the final score closer with a 22-5 run versus Point Park's backups, but the Pioneers had already put the game away with its offense.
Point Park, which entered the day ranking fifth in NAIA Division II in scoring at 90.0 ppg, had not been putting up its usual offense lately. That changed with Wednesday's 98-96 win at Rio Grande, and the Pioneers carried it over to Saturday's home win as they evened their KIAC record at 2-2 despite opening conference play with losses at Asbury (Ky.) and Alice Lloyd (Ky.) by scores of 94-71 and 72-63.
Point guard Jerah'me Williams had 23 point and nine assists for Point Park. The 5-8 junior from Youngstown, Ohio, made 3 of 6 from beyond the arc to lead a Pioneers' perimeter attack that was 11 for 21 from deep for 54 percent.
Forward Barry Smith, a 6-6 native of Penn Hills, Pa., finished with 22 points and a team-high nine rebounds, which helped Point Park control the boards, 38-32.
A total of six players scored in double figures for Point Park, which shot 59 percent for the game and 63 percent the second half.
Alan Heter, a 6-7 senior forward, went to work inside for 19 points on 7 of 11 from the floor. The perimeter attack was coming from all angles with six different players knocking down a trey. T.J. Lanier was 2 for 2 from deep on his way to 12 points. Off the bench, the Pioneers got 11 points and two treys from Art Christian and 10 points and a pair of 3-pointers from Sa'iid Allen.
Already ahead by 21 at the break, the Pioneers made 20 of their first 27 field goals of the second half. When Allen made a trey to make the score 102-71 with 5:45 left, the Pioneers were shooting 74 percent since halftime.
Highlights of the second-half flurry were the Pioneers making 8 of 12 treys, and Alan Heter and Barry Smith throwing down a pair of big dunks. Heter drove the lane for a one-hand slam and an 83-52 lead at the 9:45 mark. Smith threw down an alley-oop pass from Allen for a 90-58 lead two minutes later.
IU Kokomo, which won at Carlow on Friday night, 63-53, had a 9-4 lead in the early. But Point Park got things together and quickly went up 20-11 thanks to a 16-2 run. IU Kokomo was within 33-22 on a trey by Nick Teeter with 5:46 left in the first half, but Point Park ended the first stanza on a 15-5 run to build a 21-point lead for the locker room.
The 107-point output is the fifth time this year the Pioneers have eclipsed 100 points. Point Park went over 100 points in three of its first four games of the season, but Saturday's effort was the first time it did so since Nov. 24. Saturday was also the first since Nov. 24 that Point Park put back-to-back victories together.
The Pioneers will look to keep the momentum going Monday at Penn State-Fayette (10-3), which they beat at home, 88-85, on Nov. 12.
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