PIKEVILLE – Colt Chapman hauled in a career-best 15 rebounds and Macari Brooks put together an efficient 22 points to lead the University of Pikeville men’s basketball team past Central Penn 118-84 on Monday night at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
The seniors, Chapman and Brooks, wasted no time putting together big performances in the season opener. Chapman already had the career high at halftime with 10 boards (his previous best was nine) and Brooks connected on 8-of-12 shots, including two of his three 3-point attempts.
The duo was backed up by K.K. Simmons, who hit five threes and had 19 points, Trey Rakes with 16 points, Marshall Bennett adding 14 and Daniel Afeaki reaching double figures with 10.
Of the rebounds not swiped up by Chapman, Brooks snagged eight of them and Bennett finished with seven. UPIKE led the game on the glass 53-35, although it was beat on the offensive side 19-15.
The Bears shot 63.4 percent from the field while limiting the Knights to just a 34.6 mark. UPIKE was also lights out from deep, hitting 11 of 20 threes, but Central Penn wasn’t bad either, knocking down 12-of-28 shots from three.
This one was close for 10 minutes, when the Knights trailed by only five at 25-20, but the physicality of the Bears eventually wore them down as the deficit grew to 14 after a 9-0 UPIKE run that ended with a three from Brooks with 8:22 left before halftime.
Central Penn never got back within single digits as the Bears built leads as large as 32 points in the first half and 49 points in the second.
John Starks Jr., paced the Knights with 17 points, Tyree Tucker added 15 and Hollis Alexander chipped in with 12 off the bench. Central Penn will be tested over the next two days as it plays Georgetown on Tuesday and Bluefield (Va.) on Wednesday.
UPIKE, which pushed its home winning streak to a nation’s best 41 games, will be back in action at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday against Ohio-Eastern in the East Kentucky Expo Center.