CAMPBELLSVILLE – There were no second-half comebacks in the top-ranked University of Pikeville men’s basketball team’s 81-67 win over No. 21 Campbellsville on Saturday at the Powell Athletic Center.
K.K. Simmons tallied a game-high 19 points behind 5 for 5 free-throw shooting, Colt Chapman added 18 points and nine rebounds and Macari Brooks finished with 17 points and nine boards. Christian Leach had 13 points, seven assists and seven rebounds off the bench.
The Tigers were led by 16 from Sekou Harris and 10 each from Ron Scott and Rob Robinson.
While Campbellsville (16-5, 3-4 MSC) had proven its ability to come back from big deficits, the Bears (18-1, 5-1 MSC) still had to feel good about going into halftime with a 46-30 lead. Simmons hit a pair of threes in the half and Jackson Hussey and Brooks both connected from deep on their only attempts.
The Bears trailed 10-9 four minutes in after Elliott Young nailed a jumper, but it also sprung a 7-0 UPIKE run that put it up 16-10 on Leach’s layup three minutes later.
UPIKE wasn’t immune to being hit with a run itself though as Campbellsville put together a 9-0 spurt to regain the lead at 21-20 on a basket by Sekou Harris. Simmons brought the lead back on the Bears’ next trip and then it was off to the races for Pikeville.
By the 2:58 mark of the half, UPIKE was on top 40-24 and held on to that same 16-point margin going into the break. After trailing 21-20, the Bears outscored the Tigers 26-9 the rest of the half.
Just two days removed from Campbellsville overcoming a 12-point halftime deficit to beat Cumberlands by one, the Bears knew the game was far from over in the final 20 minutes. That was evident five minutes in when the Tigers used a 6-0 run to get back within 10 at 54-44.
Behind the hustle of Chapman, UPIKE held strong, eventually going back up by 18 on a tip-in from the senior at 65-47. At the four-minute mark, it was still a comfortable advantage for the Bears at 79-63 when Brooks flushed a one-handed jam on the fast break.
Campbellsville tried to get back in it from behind the arc, but the long distance wasn’t kind to it, finishing the half just 4 of 17 from deep and 7 of 30 overall. UPIKE outshot the Tigers 47 to 35 percent from the field and outrebounded them 41-38.