PIKEVILLE – The top-ranked University of Pikeville men’s basketball team led fifth-ranked Georgetown College by 10 points with 11 minutes to play, but Tony Kimbro and Deondre McWhorter went to work for the Tigers late, pushing them to an 83-78 win on Monday.
The Georgetown duo scored 14 of their teams’ 23 points over a nine-minute span to turn the double-digit deficit into a 75-75 tie with 2:14 to play.
Christian Leach put UPIKE (18-2, 5-2 MSC) up by two with a pair of free throws, but McWhorter had an answer on the other end with an offensive rebound and put back. Leach went 1 for 2 on his next trip to the line, allowing Kimbro to give Georgetown (17-2, 5-2 MSC) the lead for good with one of his many tough takes to the basket with 33 seconds on the clock.
Colt Chapman’s deep jumper missed on the other end, and after Noah Cottrill made it a 3-point game with two free throws, K.K. Simmons missed a tying 3-pointer out of a timeout. The Bears fouled one more time as Cottrill buried two more freebies to seal the win.
Simmons finished with 24 points, scoring 18 in the first half, and hit five 3-pointers, while Leach added 17 points off the bench and Macari Brooks added a double-double of 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Kimbro paced Georgetown with 23 points, 19 of which came in the second half. McWhorter finished with 19 points and nine boards and Troy Steward and Cottrill added 17 and 13 points, respectively.
UPIKE controlled the glass 43-34, but gave up a season-high 20 turnovers, which turned into 23 points for the Tigers. Georgetown closed the game with just nine turnovers and posted a 5-1 advantage in blocked shots.
The game was tied 11 times in the first half with Georgetown holding the biggest lead of five points at 33-28 on a Trent Gilbert three with 4:52 left before halftime. UPIKE closed the final four minutes on an 11-4 run to take a two-point lead into the break.
Including a three from Jackson Hussey and old-fashioned 3-point play from Leach, UPIKE opened the second half on a 10-2 spurt to take a 10-point lead in less than three minutes.
Trey Rakes’ three six minutes later kept it there at 62-52 before the Tigers began slowly chopping away at the deficit for the next nine minutes behind the play of Kimbro and McWhorter.