Point Park erases 14-point, 2nd-half deficit in 107-97 (OT) win over St. Francis (IN)
Nov. 17, 2012 at 4:15 p.m. ET
Josh Arnold (21) goes up for two of his 31 points vs. St. Francis (Ind.) on Saturday. Photo by Evan Skowvron.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- Point Park University erased a 14-point, second-half deficit in a 107-97, overtime win over visiting University of St. Francis (Ind.) in a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday afternoon at CCAC-South Gym.
Point Park (3-1) was down, 76-62, with 9:39 left in regulation but outscored St. Francis, 45-21, the rest of the second half and overtime. St. Francis (4-1), which had been unbeaten and is receiving votes in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll, was outscored, 17-7 in the overtime period.
Josh Arnold, a 6-5 senior from Monessen, Pa., led Point Park with a career-high 31 points. Matt Noszka, a 6-4 freshman from Chartiers Valley High School, also had a huge game for the Pioneers with career highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Noszka made 4 of 8 3-pointers on the day, and his aggressive play led the charge in Point Park's comeback. Noszka made three treys in the second half, and also playing a key role the last 35 minutes was Jimmy Taylor, who finished with 13 points and hit a couple of big 3-pointers late.
T.J. Heatherington added 16 points and five assists off the bench as Point Park had four players in double figures.
Scott Kohne, a 6-7 forward from St. Francis, had game-highs of 33 points and 13 rebounds. He was the only USF starter in double figures although Kevin Bloom came off the bench for 16 points on 4 of 6 from distance, and Josh Hogan was in for 12 points.
St. Francis, a very solid team that entered the game ranking 11th in the country in field-goal percentage (50 percent) and 23rd nationally in scoring defense (66.3 ppg), seemed to have the game in hand versus the high-scoring Pioneers.
The Cougars have on their resume the last three years an NAIA DII national title in 2009-10, a national runner-up finish in 2010-11 and a final-eight appearance last year.
Point Park some how stayed within 45-42 at the break despite St. Francis shooting 55 percent and Kohne getting 18 points the first 20 minutes. Arnold had a tip-in at the first half buzzer, and that was the only thing that had the Pioneers shooting above 40 percent (40.5 percent) for the opening frame.
Then St. Francis asserted control to start the second half. Bloom hit a trey for a 64-53 lead with 12:40 to go. Three minutes later, the Cougars took their biggest lead of 14 points, 76-62, on Kohne's inside basket at the 9:39 mark.
But then Point Park began to make its charge. A 10-2 Point Park run was capped off by Noszka's reverse layup and Taylor's long bomb as the Pioneers cut it to 78-72 with 7:06 left.
Although Kohne hit a clutch jumper to keep the Cougars up 82-74 with 6:01 left, Arnold scored a three-point play the old-fashion way to get Point Park within 84-79 moments later.
Trailing, 88-81, with 4:08 left, Noszka hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 88-87 at the 3:11 mark. On the Pioneers' next trip, Asa Braxton hit from downtown to give Point Park a 90-88 lead, its first lead since 4-2 early on.
But like he did all day, Kohne came up with a basket when the Cougars needed it, and his inside hoop tied it a 90-90 with 33 seconds left. Point Park called timeout with 11 seconds left to set up a play but turned it over. USF's halfcourt heave at the regulation buzzer was off the mark as the game headed to overtime.
In the overtime, Noszka hit a trey on Point Park's first possession only to have USF's Jordan Hahn answer with 3-pointer of his own at the other end for a 93-93 tie.
Then St. Francis took a 95-93 lead on Kohne's beautiful, fade-away 15-footer as the shot clock expired with 3;20 left in the OT.
But Point Park responded in a big way with consecutive 3-point plays. Noszka turned in an unconventional 3-point play as he made 1 of 2 from the foul line and put back his own missed shot when he missed the second free throw. Then Arnold got a steal and was fouled making his transition layup. His free throw made it 99-95, Point Park.
Josh Hogan got a big bucket for St. Francis to cut it to 99-97 with less than two minutes to play, but Taylor had maybe the biggest shot of the game, a 3-pointer from the wing for a 102-97 lead for Point Park with 1:37 to play.
From there, USF's final three possessions were a turnover and two missed 3-pointers. Each time Point Park got the ball, it made free throws to ice the game.
Point Park's next game is at home Monday versus Penn State-Fayette (7:30 p.m.). The Pioneers open KIAC play at home Wednesday versus Alice Lloyd (Ky.) at 2 p.m.