PIKEVILLE – The holiday break got a lot merrier for the 23rd-ranked University of Pikeville women’s basketball team after a 109-61 blowout of previously undefeated Bryan (Tenn.) on Friday afternoon in the East Kentucky Expo Center.
Bryan, ranked 17th in NAIA Div. II, came into the matchup with a 13-0 record, including Div. I wins over Martin Methodist (Tenn.) and Georgetown. But UPIKE’s full-court pressure and depth was too much for it, forcing 31 turnovers as the Bears led by as many as 50 points late in the fourth quarter.
UPIKE (12-0) had seven players reach double figures scoring, led by Devin Conley with 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Kandice Porter and Adison Corder added 15 points each as Porter also tallied eight rebounds and four steals, while Corder knocked down three 3-pointers.
Tonesha Allison scored 12 points to lead the Lions as they shot just 38 percent and were outrebounded 54-33. The pressure defense from UPIKE never allowed it to get on the run, ending up being shutout 20-0 on the fastbreak.
The Lions came into the game giving up just 54 points per game to its opponents, so when the Bears already had 52 at halftime, you knew it was going to be their day.
Actually, that was evident well before the half when UPIKE shot out to a 12-0 lead after a Porter free throw less than three minutes into the action. After falling behind 16-2, Bryan got some brief relief with an 8-0 run to get back within eight, but the Bears were back up by 12 at the end of the quarter.
After allowing 15 points in the first 10 minutes, the Bears nearly halved that in the second quarter as they outscored the Lions 27-9. Bryan went 3 for 12 from the field in the quarter and turned the ball over 10 times all while UPIKE only gave the ball up twice and got a layup from Emily Baker at the buzzer to lead by 28 at halftime.
Bryan played its best in the first eight minutes of the third quarter when it outscored the Bears 27-15 to cut their deficit as low as 24 points.
But the good vibes didn’t last long as the Bears went on a 9-1 run for the final two minutes. The fourth quarter got back to the earlier routine as UPIKE led by 50 on Baker’s layup near the buzzer.
UPIKE will have nearly two weeks off before returning to action in the Emory & Henry Tournament on Jan. 2-3 in Emory, Va.