Novak Scores 2,000th-Career Point to Help Mountain Cats Advance to WVIAC Quarterfinals
02/26/13... (Box Score) Bill Luther (Gibsonia, Pa.) scored a game-high 24 points, and Nick Novak (Murrysville, Pa.) added 19 points to become Pitt-Johnstown's second 2,000-point scorer on their way to leading ninth-seeded Pitt-Johnstown to a 92-82 victory at eighth-seeded Concord (WV) University in Tuesday's First Round of the 2013 WVIAC tournament. Pitt-Johnstown, which hit all 23 of its free-throws, improved to 15-12 and advances to take on top-seeded West Liberty (WV) University in the Quarterfinals at the Civic Center in Chalreston. W.Va. on thursday at 8:30 p.m.
Novak, who is now 2,007 points behind Justin Walther's (1996-00) Pitt-Johnstown record of 2,073, needed 12 points to reach the milestone.
It was all Pitt-Johnstown in the first half. The Mountain Cats used 67% shooting and made six of their nine 3-point field goal attempts to build a 21 point advantage.
Pitt-Johnstown hit eight of its first 10 shots, including a lay-up and free-throw by Noah Hartung (Butler, Pa.) 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 lay-up made it a 12-point lead, before Jordan Miller (Vinco, Pa.) connected for three and Matt Palo (North Huntingdon, Pa.) knocked down a jumper from the corner to build it to 45-27 with three minutes left.
Pitt-Johnstown wasn't done yet. 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 the halftime break up 48-30.
Concord opened the second half on an 11-5 run to pull to within 12 at 53-41 five minutes into the second half on Thomas Brown's lay-up. The Mountain Lions then made it an 11-point game two minutes later on Tunstall's 3-pointer, but Luther answered with his sixth 3-pointer to get the Pitt-Johnstown advantage back out to 14.
Concord would not go away easily. Eric Bailey's 3-point play cut it to 62-54, but Novak reached the 2,000-point milestone and extended back out to 14 with 7:33 to play.
Two Jordan Davis free-throws got the Mountain Lions as close as six at 72-66 with 6:01 on the clock, but Pitt-Johnstown never let it get any closer.
Luther went 6-for-8 from behind the 3-point line and finished with 24 points, while Miller added 20 points (8-8 free-throws), and Novak scored 19 points. Paul Weatherly (Johnstown, Pa.) chipped in nine points, and Andrew Cressler (Pittsburgh, Pa.) had seven points in the win.
Novak holds the Mountain Cat record for assists (539) and field goals-made (753) and is second on the all-time scoring list (2,007 pts.). Miller is Pitt-Johnstown's all-time leader in 3-point field goals with 294 and is also ninth on the scoring list (1,377 pts.) and 10th on the assists list (327 assts.), while Luther is fourth on the career 3-point field goals list with 184.
After shooting 67% in the first half, the Mountain Cats ended the game at 58.8% (30-51). Pitt-Johnstown was 9-18 from 3-point range, and a perfect 23-23 from the free-throw line. Concord shot 47.6% (30-63) from the floor, 11-22 from behind the 3-point line, and 11-22 from the charity stripe.
Tunstall's 17 points led five Concord players who scored in double figures. The Mountain Lions' season came to an end with a 16-11 overall record.