MONTGOMERY, W.Va. -- There was a lot that No. 11 WVU Tech was playing for Saturday in its matchup with visiting Point Park University in River States Conference men's basketball game.
The Golden Bears (22-7, 14-3 RSC) were playing for a possible NAIA automatic national bid with a win. It was Senior Day. And it was the final regular-season game ever at the Baisi Center as the campus is moving to Beckley, W.Va., next year.
Point Park (8-20, 5-12 RSC) nearly pulled the upset. Despite trailing by more than 20 points in the first half, the Pioneers were once again a second-half team. Point Park was within five points with under 4:00 left in the game and was a 3-point made field goal or two away from maybe ending the year with a big win.
The Pioneers had their three seniors play key roles in their final college game. Senior Jaylen Mann had a team-high 22 points, and he made six treys. One of those came early in the second half to cut the WVU Tech lead to 66-58. The deficit had been 17 points at the half, 58-41.
Although WVU Tech bumped its second-half lead up to as high as 17 points with 10:00 to go, Roberts hit from downtown to get within 89-82 at the 5:33 mark. A minute later, Rajahpillay connected on a trey to keep things in single digits, 92-85.
Fousseini Konate, who chipped in eight points and six rebounds, scored inside put Point Park in its best spot all day, which was down 92-87 with 3:37 left.
WVU Tech then got a big 3-pointer from Will Fox. The Bears tried a trey on their next trip as well. Although it missed, the No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the nation came up with the big board. Patrick Gnagbo put it up and in for a 10-point lead, 97-87, with 1:49 left.
Mann had one last 3-pointer in him to make the score 97-90 at 1:24, but that was as close as Point Park got as its next couple of attempts misfired.
WVU Tech had Elisha Boone with 25 points and 21 rebounds and Ryan Atkins with 23 points. Fox ended with 18 points and was 6 of 7 from long range. The Golden Bears go into the playoffs as one of the top seeds.
Point Park in fifth place in the RSC East Division, one spot out of the playoffs. The Pioneers were in playoff contention until Friday night's loss at Rio Grande, 84-71.