Indiana East comes away with 100-96 win over Point Park with late rally
Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:10 p.m. ET
T.J. Heatherington had a game-high 31 points for the Pioneers at IU East. Photo by Evan Skowvron.
RICHMOND, Ind. -- Point Park University had an nine-point lead with under 10 minutes to play, but Indiana East put together a comeback to beat the visiting Pioneers, 100-96, in a KIAC men's basketball game Saturday night in Richmond, Ind.
Point Park (12-9, 6-7 KIAC) was down by as many as nine in the first half but worked the IU East lead down to 51-48 by halftime. The Pioneers managed an 80-71 lead with 9:04 to go, but IU East (17-8, 7-3 KIAC) made more shots down the stretch to win.
The teams were even in many statistical catergories, but it was the Red Wolves who came away with the close victory. IU East, which is receiving votes in the NAIA DII Top 25 Poll, also won at Point Park, 112-94, on Jan. 22.
Point Park's T.J. Heatherington, a senior point guard from McKeesport, Pa., led all scorers with 31 points. He also added eight rebounds and six assists in 40 minutes. Guard Gabe McNeal, a 6-1 junior from Richmond, Va., had 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Babatunde Somoye, a 6-9 center from London, England, totaled 11 points and 16 rebounds for his second double-double in as many days for Point Park. He had eight points in the first half and battled an ankle injury the second half to play 35 minutes.
Guard Tyler Fangman led six IU East players in double figures with 30 points, although none of his teammates scored more than 13. Leading scorer Marcus Isaac at 17.9 ppg, finished with 11 points. Second-leading scorer Huston Clark (16.8 ppg), a 6-4 forward, did not play due to injury.
Isaac had a team-high 27 points and Clark had 21 points and seven rebounds in the win at Point Park Jan. 22. But Fangman picked up the scoring slack for the Red Wolves on Saturday night as he made 10 of 14 field goals and 5 of 8 treys.
Although Point Park was clinging to an 86-83 lead with under five minutes to go, Fangman hit from downtown to put IU East ahead, 93-90, at the 2:15 mark.
With the clock inside one minute, IU East looked to be in control with a transition bucket that gave it a 97-92 lead. But Asa Braxton, who had 15 points, hit one of his three 3-pointers to pull Point Park within 97-95 with 33.5 seconds to go.
IU East missed the front end of a one-and-one on its next trip, leaving the door open for Point Park, which called a timeout to set up a play with 20 seconds left. Heatherington found Braxton for a look inside, and Somoye got the offensive rebound when the shot missed.
Somoye made 1 of 2 from the line with 6.9 seconds left as Point Park still trailed, 97-96. A couple of free throws on the other end by Fangman stretched it to 99-96, and the final ended up 100-96 as the Point Park inbounder called a timeout he didn't have to result in a technical free throw.
Point Park had 26 points in the paint and 10 second-chance points the first half with Somoye leading the way in that effort. That made up for the Pioneers going 4 for 17 (23.5 percent) from long range the first 20 minutes. Point Park could not find the range after halftime, either, as it ended up 9 for 34 from outside the arc for 27 percent.
Point Park shot 43 percent overall, which was just less the IU East's 44 percent from the floor. The Red Wolves were 11 of 26 (42 percent) from 3-point range. Rebounds were in Point Park's favor, 51-46.
Point Park is off until next Saturday when it hosts Berea (Ky.) for a KIAC game at 2 p.m. It is the first of three remaining games for the Pioneers with all three being at home.
At 6-7 in the KIAC, the Pioneers are in 6th place in the nine-team league that invites all schools to the KIAC Tournament. The top four teams host playoff games in the quarterfinals, and the Pioneers are two games back and four games back in the loss column of that.
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