EMORY, Va. – After two weeks off, the 23rd-ranked University of Pikeville women’s basketball team returned in dominant fashion with a 77-44 win over North Carolina Wesleyan on the first day of the Comfort Inn Holiday Tournament on Saturday.
The Battling Bishops (3-7) led the battle of the boards 51-43, but every other advantage went the Bears’ way. Most importantly were turnovers, where N.C. Wesleyan gave up 37 to UPIKE’s 15. That led to a 34-5 advantage in points off turnovers as Devin Conley led UPIKE to the 33-point win with 17 points.
Conley did a lot of her damage early with three first-half 3-pointers, helping UPIKE (13-0) take a 41-21 lead into halftime. By game’s end, five Bears finished in double figures, including Conley, Kandice Porter with 13, Kelah Eldridge and Rachel Lee with 12 each and Dinyell Calvert chipping in with 10 points.
Everyone on the N.C. Wesleyan roster stayed in single digits scoring as Timyra Staton led the way with eight points, as well as a game-high nine rebounds. Lee was the leader on the backboards for UPIKE with eight.
Credit the UPIKE defense for keeping the big lead as it limited the Battling Bishops to a 27.1 percent showing from the field, compared to the Bears’ 38.5 percent mark. UPIKE also led the game in 3-pointers 7-2 and hit a season-high percentage from the free-throw line at 76.9 (10-13).
UPIKE never trailed in the game and only saw it tied once at 2-2. The Battling Bishops were within three at 13-10 late in the first quarter, but the Bears scored the next 20 points and never looked back.