CAMPBELLSVILLE – It took a half of basketball to get going, but the final 20 minutes at Campbellsville may have been the University of Pikeville men’s basketball team’s best of the season, knocking off the Tigers 79-61 on Saturday at the Powell Athletic Center.
Keala King led all scorers with 23 points, Elisha Justice added a season-high 20 and Bruce Reed finished with 17. King also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds as Pikeville outrebounded the Tigers 37-22.
Only A’Darius Pegues and Deshawn Dockery reached double figures for Campbellsville with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
The Bears (7-1, 2-0 MSC) ended up shooting over 50 percent from the field for the game after a 37.5 percent showing in the first half. UPIKE outscored the Tigers 50-30 in the final 20 minutes thanks in large part to an 18-of-20 showing from the free-throw line.
After trading baskets to start the game, Campbellsville (2-2, 0-2 MSC) used a three from Jordan Myers to jumpstart an 8-0 run to take a 10-2 lead. UPIKE answered with a 7-2 run of its own, but trailed 16-9 after another Myers three with 11 minutes left in the half.
Justice hit a three from the top of the key before hitting three free throws after getting fouled on his next shot to trim the Tiger lead to two at 23-21. Dockery made a layup the next time down for Campbellsville and Pegues followed with a fade-away shot from the baseline after a missed 3-pointer by Devante McClung.
With the back-to-back baskets, Campbellsville was back out in front 27-21 with less than six minutes until halftime.
UPIKE battled back to within two at 29-27 on a put back by King, but Pegues connected on two free throws to finish a mini 4-0 run and give the Tigers a four-point lead. King continued to fight back for the Bears in the final minute, getting to the line for two makes to make it 31-29 Campbellsville at the break.
The pace picked up in the second half to the advantage of the Bears, allowing them to run the floor for a 36-35 lead, their first of the game. Justice increased the advantage to three with a free-throw line jumper.
King knocked down a three, Justice hit a 15-foot jumper and Reed connected on a pair of free throws over the next four minutes to give UPIKE its largest lead yet at 48-39. From there the Bears used a 15-5 run to take a 19-point lead with eight minutes to go.
Campbellsville never recovered from the big UPIKE boom as the Bears were up 18 with a minute left.
Pikeville won’t return to action until 7 p.m. on Dec. 13 against Clearwater Christian (Fla.) at the East Kentucky Expo Center.