Mountain Cats Defeat Chowan to Open Tip-Off Classic
11/11/11... (Box Score) Nick Novak (Murrysville, Pa.) scored 21 points and Patrick Grubbs (Turtle Creek, Pa.) added 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Mountain Cats to a 77-67 win over Chowan (N.C.) University in Friday's opening round of the 2011 Pitt-Johnstown Tip-Off Classic.
The Mountain Cats raced out to a 10-2 lead three minutes into the game behind four points apiece from Grubbs and Novak. Chowan bounced back with a 10-2 run over the next 2:31 to tie it at 12 on Quinton McDuffie's three-pointer from the top of the key.
Pitt-Johnstown regained control and outscored the hawks 21-9 the rest of the way to take a 12-point halftime lead. Noah Hartung's (Butler, Pa.) free-throw midway through the half pushed it back out to seven points, before a Novak lay-up with just over two minutes remaining made it 31-21. Then, with 22 second left,, Grubbs' scored in the paint to give Pitt-Johnstown its largest lead of the first half and put the Mountain Cats up 33-21 at the break.
The Mountain Cats came out quickly in the second half. Paul Weatherly (Johnstown, Pa.) and Jordan Miller (Vinco, Pa.) each hit three-pointers to help Pitt-Johnstown score 10 of the first 13 points and extend the lead to 43-24 at the 17:10 mark.
Chowan battled back with a 19-7 run to pull to within seven with just under 11 minutes to play. James Davis' three-pointer with 12:13 left ended a 9-0 Hawks run that cut the deficit to 50-41, before Lee Branscome's three-pointer got it down to 54-47 at 10:36.
However, that's as close as it would get. The Mountain Cats extended the lead to 14 on two free-throws from Miller with three minutes to play, before going on to the 10-point victory.
Novak led Pitt-Johnstown with 21 points, including 9-12 from the free-throw line, while Grubbs scored 20 points on 8-16 shooting from the field and 4-6 from the free-throw line. Grubbs' 13 rebounds also tied for game-high. Miller rounded out the Mountain Cats who scored in double-figures with 13 points. Hartung scored eight points and pulled down nine rebounds, and Weatherly chipped-in eight points and five rebounds.
The Mountain Cats, who held a dominating 48-32 advantage in rebounding, finished the night shooting 45.6% (26-57) from the field, 4-12 from three-point range, and 21-30 from the free-throw line. The Hawks shot just 37.9% (25-66) from the floor. Chowan also connected on five three-pointers and hit 12-17 from the charity stripe.
Antonio Reddic scored a game-high 24 points, had six rebounds, five assists and seven steals to lead the way for Chowan. McDuffie added 19 points and tied Grubbs for game-high in rebounds with 13.
In Friday's opening game of the Classic, Steve Catich scored 20 of his game-high 27 points in the first half to help Wheeling Jesuit built a 13-point halftime advantage and lead the Cardinals to an 85-66 win over Bloomsburg. Catich also grabbed eight rebounds, while Obi Ukwuoma had 21 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and Ben Siefert dished out a game-best 11 assists for Wheeling Jesuit. Trevon Johnson scored 15 points, and Larry Webster and Nnamdi Njoku each finished with 11 points to pace Bloomsburg.
The 2011 Pitt-Johnstown Tip-Off Classic wraps-up on Saturday with Wheeling Jesuit (WV) University taking on Chowan at 2 p.m., followed by Bloomsburg University and Pitt-Johnstown at 4 p.m.
Following this weekend's Tip-Off Classic, Pitt-Johnstown will open the WVIAC schedule with a doubleheader with the Lady Cats against Davis & Elkins (WV) College on Wednesday in the Sports Center. The Lady Cats will tip-off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men's game at 7:30 p.m.