Eleventh-ranked Indiana University of Pennsylvania outscored the Mountain Cats by 20 in the second half to break open a three-point halftime lead in a 91-68 PSAC West victory over the Mountain Cats Wednesday night in the Sports Center.
Ian Vescovi’s 13 points paced three Mountain Cats who scored in double figures. Pitt-Johnstown has lost four in a row and fell to 10-9 overall and 3-6 in conference-play.
Devon Cottrell’s lay-up six minutes into the game put IUP in front 15-6, but the Mountain Cats charged back with a 20-8 run over the next 6:30 to take a three-point lead.
Matt Palo’s 3-pointer at 9:10 gave Pitt-Johnstown its first lead of the night, before Jake Laravie connected for a 3-pointer of his own at the 6 minute mark that put the Mountain Cats up 26-23.
Marcel Souberbielle’s free-throws with eight seconds remaining in the half rebuilt the Crimson Hawks’ lead to six, but Laravie hit another 3-pointer from the top of the key as time expired to cut the Pitt-Johnstown deficit to 38-35 at the half.
Pitt-Johnstown got it down to one on an Andrew Cressler bucket to open the second half, but IUP scored the next nine to push its lead into double digits. The Crimson Hawks never left the Mountain Cats get closer than seven the rest of the way.
Souberbielle’s 3-pointer at 12:39 extended it to 62-47, before the Crimson Hawks built it to as many on two Brandon Norfleet free-throws with 5:18 to play.
Vescovi had 13 points and six rebounds, while Laravie chipped in 11 points. Bill Luther added 10 points to round out the Mountain Cats who scored in double figures, and Palo finished with nine points off the bench.
Luther is currently 19th on the Mountain Cat all-time scoring list with 1,116 points and third on the career-3-point field goals list with 235.
Pitt-Johnstown shot 44.9 percent (22 of 49) from the field, 7 of 13 from 3-point range, and 17 of 22 from the free-throw line. IUP, which held a 35-20 advantage in rebounding, shot 55.4 percent (31 of 56) from the field, 6 of 20 from behind the 3-point line, and 23 of 24 from the charity stripe.
Norfleet’s scored a game-high 25 points and pulled down six rebounds, and Souberbielle tallied 24 points and seven rebounds to lead the Crimson Hawks, who improved to 17-2 overall and 7-2 in the PSAC West.
The Mountain Cats travel to Edinboro for a PSAC game on Saturday, before hosting a conference doubleheader with the Lady Cats against Clarion next Wednesday. The Lady Cats will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. with the men’s game to follow at 7.