Point Park men win fourth straight, 95-89, at home versus PSU-Beaver
Nov. 13, 2013 at 11:45 p.m. ET
Brandon Camic and Gabe McNeal celebrate the Pioneers' 95-88 win over PSU-Beaver. Photo by Christopher Squier.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- Playing its sixth game the first eight days of the season, the Point Park University men's basketball came away with a 95-89 home win over visiting Penn State-Beaver on Wednesday at CCAC-South to win its fourth straight and improve to 4-2 in the early season.
Senior guard Gabe McNeal came up with another huge game of 29 points, nine assists and 4 of 7 from long range to hold off PSU-Beaver (0-1) and actually bring the Pioneers back from a late deficit.
Nick Brown and Alan Heter both added double-doubles for Point Park with Brown battling foul trouble but still getting 21 points and 11 boards and Heter coming off the bench for 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Matt Noszka added 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals to give the Pioneers four players in double figures, and it turned out the Pioneers needed all that production to come away with the victory.
PSU-Beaver, which has four of five starters returning from last year's team that was 21-8 and reached the national semifinals of the USCAA, had been trailing the whole second half before seizing some momentum with a 63-61 lead on Chris Weathers' dunk with 11:54 to go.
PSU-Beaver managed to stay tied or ahead -- if only by a few points -- for much of the rest of the game. And although McNeal did put Point Park up 84-82 with 2:08 left, that was followed up by a big 3-pointer by Rob Agurs of PSU-Beaver to retake the lead. Agurs followed up the trey with a steal and a breakaway layup as the visitors led, 87-84, with 1:31 to play.
But Brown -- who sat 10 straight minutes in the second half after picking up his fourth foul shortly after halftime -- came up big with a 3-point play the old-fashioned way to draw the Pioneers even, 87-87 at the 1:16 mark. After a big defensive stop, freshman Brandon Camic nailed a big 3-pointer in front of the Pioneers bench to take control, 90-87, with 53 ticks to go.
Camic chipped in eight points -- all in the second half -- on 2 of 4 shooting and made 3 of 4 from the line. He calmly sank two foul shots to ice the game, 95-89, with 17 seconds remaining. Camic, from Serra Catholic High School, gave the Pioneers good minutes off the bench, which continues to get shorter after taking another hit in Wednesday's win
Kyerell Scott, who got the start at point guard in place of the injured Robbie Heatherington, played only five minutes after leaving early with a foot injury. Heatherington missed his second game in a row but is expected to return next week.
After Scott went down, the Pioneers used only six players the rest of the way. Heter's 17 points and 14 rebounds off the bench combined with Camic's bench effort helped the Pioneers lead in bench scoring, 25-8.
With Heatherington out, McNeal ran the point and collected a career-high nine assists. He also made 10 of 16 field goals to lead the Pioneers to 49-percent shooting.
Point Park held a 44-37 edge in rebounds and made 17 turnovers compared to 18 for PSU-Beaver.
Three players had big games for PSU-Beaver with Agurs leading the way with 24 points. All of those came in the second half as he led the charge after halftime. Nick Miller added 21, and Weathers put in 19.
PSU-Beaver jumped out to a 10-3 lead the first 1:35 of the game as Weathers hit two 3-pointers. But Point Park regrouped and asserted itself for an 18-2 run and 21-12 lead by the 13:55 mark. Brown had 12 points by then, and he had 13 at the half as the Pioneers held a lead of 42-40.
After playing six games the first eight days of the season, Point Park is off until Monday when it visits West Liberty, ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II. Tipoff is 7 p.m. in West Liberty, W.Va.