The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

December 21, 2013

UPJ's Rukavina, Luther record career milestones

MANSFIELD — Pitt-Johnstown saw two members of its men’s basketball team reach new heights during Saturday’s 91-74 win over host Mansfield.

Senior Bill Luther notched 22 points to become the 25th player in program history to score 1,000 or more points. His efforts boosted the Mountain Cats (8-3) to coach Bob Rukavina’s 400th win at Pitt-Johnstown.

Luther needed 12 points to reach 1,000. Sitting at 1,010, he’s just 13 points behind Josue Nieves for the 24th spot. 

“I hadn’t really thought about it all that much,” Luther said. “A couple of the guys had been giving me grief about having to read about it all the time. I’m happy that it’s over and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

 Luther connected on back-to-back 3-pointers in the second half to eclipse 1,000. His six 3-pointers ran his career total to 216, third all time in program history.

“They were making a little run on us,” Luther said. “So it was just a matter of making the right plays. I forget who passed me the ball, but I got a good look and took two shots and they both went in thankfully.”

Rukavina, who is in his 25th season at the helm of the Mountain Cats, has averaged almost 17 wins per season at Pitt-Johnstown.

“I never even thought about it,” Rukavina said of his 400th win. “I only knew about it some time last week. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to those things. Though 400 wins, I can say that I’ve enjoyed every one of them. I love what I do, every minute of it. Hopefully I’ll get a few more.”

Luther’s output paced three Mountain Cats who scored in double figures.  Andrew Cressler finished with 17 points and Ian Vescovi had 14 points. Pitt-Johnstown also got nine points from Jake Laravie and 12 assists from Nate Snodgrass.

Mansfield’s Joe Bell led all scorers with 34 points and seven rebounds.

Charles Pemberton added 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Mounties, who dropped to 2-9 on the year.


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