The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 26, 2013

Novak scores 2,000th point as UPJ advances

ATHENS, W.Va. — Bill Luther scored a game-high 24 points and Nick Novak added 19 points to become Pitt-Johnstown’s second 2,000-point scorer as ninth-seeded Pitt-Johnstown won at No. 8 Concord 92-82 in Tuesday’s first round of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament.  

Pitt-Johnstown, which hit all 23 of its free throws, improved to 15-12 and advanced to take on top-seeded West Liberty in the quarterfinals at the Civic Center in Charleston, W.Va. on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Novak needed 12 points entering the game. He now has 2,007 career points. Justin Walther (1996-2000) scored a team-record 2,073 points.

It was all Pitt-Johnstown in the first half. The Mountain Cats made 67 percent of their field goals and made six of their nine 3-point attempts to build a 21-point advantage.

Pitt-Johnstown hit eight of its first 10 shots, including a layup and free throw by Noah Hartung 6:30 into the game to jump out to an 18-11 advantage.

Concord cut it to four on three occasions, with the last on Damien Tunstall’s 3-pointer at 10:44, but Pitt-Johnstown took control and outscored the Mountain Lions 24-10 the rest of the half.

Novak’s (steal and breakaway layup made it a 12-point lead before Jordan Miller connected for three and Matt Palo knocked down a jumper from the corner to build it to 45-27 with three minutes left.

Luther followed his fourth 3-pointer with under a minute to go to raise it to a 21-point advantage, before the Mountain Cats went into halftime up 48-30.

Luther went 6-for-8 from behind the 3-point line while Miller added 20 points and made all eight free-throw attempts.