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Men's Basketball

Point Park men let one slip away to IU Southeast, 79-77, at home

Jan. 30, 2015 at 11:55 p.m. ET

Point Park's Jerah'me Williams is guarded by IU Southeast's Aidan McEwen in Friday's game. Photo by Kevin Taylor.


WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team let a precious, conference home game fall out of its grasp Friday night, a 79-77 defeat to visiting IU Southeast at CCAC-South Gym.

Point Park (11-9, 3-4 KIAC) held a 10-point lead at 69-59 with 7:36 to play, but IU Southeast (5-14, 2-6 KIAC) snatched victory away from defeat with a 20-8 run to end the game.

Jerah'me Williams and Alan Heter both scored 21 points for the Pioneers, who had been 6-2 at home and 2-0 in KIAC home games entering Friday. T.J. Lanier scored 18 points, including the first seven of a 10-2 run that gave the Pioneers the 10-point lead.

It what was a very close game to that point, the Pioneers put together their best basketball of the night on the key run that resulted in the 69-59 advantage.

First, Williams found Lanier for a layup. Then Yandell Denis fed Lanier for a trey. After Lanier broke out for a transition layup, Williams knocked down an outside jumper for the double-digit edge.

But then the Pioneers went four minutes without scoring.

In the meantime, the Pioneers had 6-6 forward Barry Smith foul out. He had been guard IU Southeast guarding Jake Simpson, who leads the KIAC at 23.9 ppg. Smith collected 13 rebounds before fouling out with 5:38 to go and the Pioneers clinging to a 69-67 lead.

But Simpson, who finished with a game-high 26 points, drove for layup to tie the score at 71-71 with 2:49 to go. After Point Park missed a 3, Simpson hit a jumper in the lane and was fouled for a 3-point play and a 74-71 lead at the 2:26 mark.

IU Southeast was still up by three points, 78-75, when Parker Henes knocked down two free throws for the Grenadiers with 1:38 to go. Point Park then missed a couple of 3-pointers for a chance to tie. The second miss rebounded by Jordan Thompson with just 21 seconds left.

But Point Park still had life when Thompson missed the front end of a one-and-one. Williams then drove to the basket for the layup that IU Southeast was conceding to cut it to 78-77 with 11 ticks to go.

The Pioneers fouled Simpson, who went to the foul line for two shots with five seconds remaining. He made the first but missed the second. Point Park rushed the ball up court, but Williams' pull-up, potential game-winning trey was no good as time expired.

It was a tough one to swallow for Point Park, which missed a chance to gain ground on KIAC North Division leader IU East, which is ranked No. 24 in NAIA Division II and is 18-6, 6-1 KIAC. Instead, the Pioneers remain in second place in the division at 3-4 KIAC and three games back.

Point Park took excellent care of the ball with only three turnovers and 17 assists on 30 made field goals. But in the end, the Pioneers were not efficient enough in shooting as they shot just 37 percent overall and 21 percent (7 of 33) from long range.

IU Southeast countered with 47 percent shooting and 9 of 24 from the outside (38 percent). The Grenadiers dominated the rebounds, 58-37, and even more so when Smith fouled out.

IU Southeast led at halftime, 42-40. Grenadiers forward Joe Jackson had 14 of his 18 points in the first half and keyed a 10-2 run to close the opening period.

Sa'iid Allen had 11 points and made three treys off the Point Park bench. Brandon Britt chipped in 10 points as an IU Southeast reserve.

Point Park returns to action Tuesday night at Carlow (2-16, 0-7 KIAC) in a KIAC game at 6 p.m. It'll be the first-ever meeting between the schools as Carlow is in its first year of men's basketball in school history.

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