ST. CATHARINE – Cheyenne Madden posted a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds to help the University of Pikeville women’s basketball team win its Mid-South Conference opener at St. Catharine 86-72 on Thursday at Lourdes Hall.
After an 0-3 start, the win gives first-year head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee her first win at UPIKE, coming when it counts in conference play. St. Catharine drops to 1-6 overall and 0-1 in the MSC with the loss.
Brittany Swindall added 12 points and eight rebounds, while Kandice Porter (Prestonsburg/Sheldon Clark High School) added 10 points and three boards. The trio of post players in double figures helped the Bears overcome a stellar performance from the free throw line by the Patriots, hitting 18-of-20 attempts.
Machera Calhoun led St. Catharine with 13 points and Kourtney Belcher added 12 points and five rebounds.
UPIKE outshot the Patriots 48.4 to 36.9 percent from the field and controlled the glass 43-29.
Swindall knocked down a jumper seven minutes into the first half to give the Bears an 11-6 lead. St. Catharine answered with a 5-0 run, including a three from Cora Moore to tie it up.
The Patriots went on to build a 24-19 lead with 4:52 left in the half, but the back-and-forth style wasn’t over as the Bears had another run left in the first 20 minutes.
Down 26-21, UPIKE got a free throw from Courtney Haney and back-to-back threes from Christin Haney and Kelah Eldridge to go up 28-26. Christin Haney connected on a pair of free throws and Calhoun did the same for St. Catharine to make it 30-28 UPIKE at the break.
St. Catharine stayed close to the Bears for the first six minutes of the second half, trailing by just three after a free throw by Rianne Hofstraat. But starting with a basket by Porter, UPIKE went on an 11-0 run over the next three minutes.
Madden hit two free throws at the end of the run to make it a 56-42 UPIKE lead. Porter’s layup with four minutes left had extended the lead to 20 at 75-55, but there was one more Patriot run for the Bears to overcome.
Lexus Edwards, Heather Sandlin and Stacie Shrout all knocked down threes to help St. Catharine to a 10-0 run that sliced the 20-point lead in half. Luckily for UPIKE the Patriots cooled down and it outscored them 11-7 the rest of the way.