PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville women’s basketball team is off to a 5-0 start for the first time since the 2010-11 season after using defense to get past Ohio Christian 76-48 on Friday at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
The Bears held Ohio Christian to 23.3 percent shooting from the field and forced 22 turnovers while allowing just three assists. By halftime, the Trailblazers were down by 12 and things got worse in the third period when the Bears outscored them 22-6.
Both teams scored 20 points in the final quarter, but it was too little, too late for Ohio Christian which made just 14 of its 60 field-goal attempts. OCU also shot 14 more free throws than UPIKE, but could only connect on 17 of its 30 tries.
Aundrea Matchen led all scorers with 18 points, including a pair of threes, while Devin Conley and Rachel Lee joined her in double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Three different Bears finished with six rebounds each as they held a slight 45-41 advantage on the glass for the game.
OCU got 15 points from Erinn Bailey and 10 from Olivia Davis off the bench, but no one else had more than six.
Depth also hurt the Trailblazers as they put just eight players on the floor as UPIKE ran 12 players in and out all game long. That kept players like reserve guard Kayla Day fresh, allowing her to swipe three steals and dish out a team-high four assists.
Kandice Porter and Sandra Davis kept the Trailblazers off balance as well with two blocks each and UPIKE didn’t allow any open looks from deep as they shot just 3 of 14 from behind the arc.
UPIKE never trailed in the game, but it wasn’t the prettiest start as its biggest first-period lead was five at 12-7. When OCU’s Shawntell Parsons drained a three in the final seconds, the lead was down to one.
But the Bears opened the second period with a 10-0 run, highlighted by a Matchen three, to take control of the game for good. In the final minute of the fourth period, the lead went as high as 33 points as Dinyell Calvert’s layup put UPIKE in front 72-39.
The Bears are back in action on Friday-Saturday at the Puerto Rico Classic, taking on Turabo the first day at Noon ET, followed by Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) at 11 a.m. on the second day.