WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. -- Asbury (Ky.) University made the clutch plays in the final minutes to come away with a River States Conference men's basketball victory over Point Park University, 93-87, on Friday night at CCAC-South.
It was a close game in many areas, and it was Asbury (11-10, 5-6 RSC) that inched out in front and held on for the win at Point Park 7-13, 4-6 RSC). Each team made 33 field goals, totaled 14 assists and turned the ball over 10 times. With not much separating the teams, everything was pointing to the final minutes to decide things.
Gavin Rajahpillay scored a game-high 27 points for Point Park and was a big reason why the Pioneers built a 63-57 lead with just under 12:00 to play. He hit a pair of 3-pointers for that lead and then connected again from the outside moments later for a 68-62 edge.
But Asbury put together a quick spurt to cut the score to 70-69 with 7:00 left on a trey by Trenton Thompson. He scored 21 points to match his scoring average.
For then on, the teams matched each other basket by basket. The big plays that gave Asbury the win were turned in by reserve guard Deion Cochran. First, he hit a 3-pointer for an 81-79 lead with 2:56 left. A couple possessions later, he got a basket and the foul shot for an old-fashioned 3-point play and an 86-82 lead with 1:59 remaining.
The Pioneers got as close as 88-86, but a key turnover in the Point Park backcourt gave Asbury a layup going the other way. That came with 27 seconds left and essentially put the game away, 91-86.
Rushan Roberts score 17 points for the Pioneers. Jaylen Mann scored 14 and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench. Coming in just under double figures were Art Christian with nine and Asim Pleas and T.J. Bates eight each.
The Pioneers were down by as many as nine in the early going but got within 41-38 at halftime. Neither team had a lead over more than two posessioins the last 20 minutes.
Point Park resumes conference game with another home game on Saturday, Jan. 28. Tipoff is 2 p.m. versus Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College at CCAC-South Gym. Follow the Pioneers on social media @PointParkSports.