WILLIAMSBURG – The fourth-ranked University of Pikeville men’s basketball team erased a 13-point deficit in the second half, but D’Lando Carter hit two big threes in the final stages on his way to 38 points to lift No. 21 Cumberlands to a 79-78 win on Saturday.
Carter had one of the better individual offensive performances you’ll see all season, hitting 9 of 14 3-pointers and making all three of his free-throw attempts. Carter failed to grab a rebound and dished out just one assist, but it’s hard to argue the value of 38 points.
It was a 59-46 Patriot lead with 13 minutes left before an 11-0 UPIKE run in just under three minutes flipped the lead in the Bears’ favor at 67-66. It was Pikeville’s first time being in front since it was 29-27 in the first half.
UPIKE (23-4, 10-4 MSC) was still in front at 73-69 with 3:53 to play before Carter and Cumberlands went on an 8-0 run to take a four-point lead of their own with two minutes left. Carter’s first three gave the Patriots (19-9, 9-5 MSC) the lead back at 74-73, then after a miss by Dmitri Reaves, he hit another to go up by four.
K.K. Simmons cut the deficit to one with a three of his own in the final minute, then Temjae Singleton missed a long-distance shot at the end of the shot clock on the other end. UPIKE took a timeout after the rebound to draw up a final play, but Jackson Hussey missed a long jumper at the buzzer.
Four players reached double figures scoring for UPIKE, led by Simmons with 18 points and a trio of threes, Christian Leach with 17 points and Colt Chapman and Macari Brooks chipping in with 11 each. Chapman and Michael Lewis both grabbed seven rebounds as the teams tied on the glass with 33 boards each.
UPIKE opened the game on an 8-2 run, including four straight points from Lewis, but the Patriots answered back with an 8-4 spurt of their own to set up what would be a closely contested opening 20 minutes. Cumberlands got some separation late with a nine-point lead before ultimately taking a 40-35 lead into halftime.
Cumberlands continued to hold a lead for the first 14 minutes of the second half until it went ice cold from the field, allowing UPIKE to get back in its with its 11-0 run.