ST. CATHARINE – The undefeated record looked to be in jeopardy for the 17th-ranked University of Pikeville women’s basketball team when St. Catharine took an eight-point lead in the third quarter on Thursday, but hot shooting and pressure defense helped flip the script in the final quarter for a 71-58 win in Lourdes Hall.
Aundrea Matchen finished with a team-best 13 points, followed by Kandice Porter with 12 and Prisha Rogers chipping in with 11 off the bench. Rachel Lee added a balanced effort of nine points and eight rebounds off the bench as well.
Kayla Day added just four points and four boards, but three of them were huge on the offensive end and she was a pivotal part of the press defense that turned the game in UPIKE’s favor.
After falling behind by eight, the Bears went on a 12-0 run over the last six minutes of the third period to regain the lead for the first time since it was 18-17.
UPIKE (17-0, 4-0 MSC) had runs of 8-0 and 7-0 in the fourth quarter, making sure there would be no comebacks. It led 58-49 at the end of the first run, then blew things open at 70-53 with a minute to play on a short jumper from Matchen.
By game’s end, the lead had changed hands seven times with St. Catharine (5-12, 0-5 MSC) leading by as many as eight points and UPIKE by 17.
Neither team led by more than three points in the first quarter. It wasn’t until the Patriots went on a 7-0 run in the second to turn a tie game into a seven-point lead that there was real separation. St. Catharine continued to build its lead for the first three minutes of the third period before falling apart under UPIKE’s pressure.