Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cats Fall at Clarion, 85-50

Nick Novak (Murrysville, Pa.) scored 20 points and Patrick Grubbs (Turtle Creek, Pa.) added 18 points and 10 rebounds to help the Mountain Cats build an 11-point first half lead, but Clarion University outscored Pitt-Johnstown by nine in the second half to deal the Mountain Cats an 85-80 non-conference road loss, Wednesday night.  Pitt-Johnstown has dropped its last two games and slipped to 5-2.
    
Pitt-Johnstown jumped out to a 20-11 lead on a pair of free-throws by Danny Branch (Washington, D.C.) 5:25 into the game, before extending the lead to 11on a three-pointer by Bill Luther (Gibsonia, Pa.) with 5:15 left in the first half.
    
The Golden Eagles used a 13-4 run, capped by Brandon Winbush's three-pointer, to cut the deficit to 44-42 at 1:46, before Grubbs' lay-up on the next possession gave Pitt-Johnstown 46-42 halftime advantage.
    
Clarion took a one-point lead early in the second half, but the Mountain Cats quickly regained it and pushed it out to 68-59 on another Luther three-pointer with 11:17 remaining.
    
Pitt-Johnstown held at least a six-point advantage until the 6:32 mark.  However, the Golden Eagles outscored the Mountain Cats 19-8 the rest of the way.
    
Clarion scored six straight to go up 73-72 at 3:14.  Novak's basket tied it at 74 with 2:13 to play, but the Golden Eagles hit 7-8 free-throws down the stretch to seal the win.
    
Novak led Pitt-Johnstown with 20 points on 9-11 shooting and 2-2 from the free-throw line.  Grubbs had 18 points, 10 rebounds and a team-high five assists, while Jordan Miller (Vinco, Pa.) scored 15 points and Luther chipped in 14 points to round out the double-figure scorers.  Branch had seven points, and Paul Weatherly (Johnstown, Pa.) collected six points in the loss.
    
The Mountain Cats shot 58.2% (32-55) from the field, 10-18 from three-point range and just 6-13 from the free-throw line.  Clarion, which held a 42-24 advantage in rebounding, shot 46.5% (33-71) from the floor, 5-19 from behind the three-point line and 14-22 from the charity stripe.
    
Branch, who holds the Mountain Cat career-record for three-pointers with 204, also ranks 12th on the Pitt-Johnstown All-Time Scoring List with 1,167 points.  He is seven points away of tying Tyrone Doleman (1986-88) for 13th-place on the scoring list.  Grubbs moved into 10th-place on the Mountain Cat All-Time Rebounding List with 558, six shy of Quinn Harris (1988-92) ninth-place.
    
Lloyd Harrison scored a game-high 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out eight assists to lead the Golden Eagles, who improved to 5-0.
    
The Mountain Cats will play their final home game of the first semester against Bloomsburg University on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Sports Center, before traveling to Shepherd (WV) University for a WVIAC game on Saturday, December 18.

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