PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Junior Josh Samarco poured in 41 points and led the Pikeville College Bears to an 84-80 win over No. 3 Georgetown College Thursday night.
Samarco, a guard from Ypsilanti, Mich., blistered the nets on 7-of-11 shooting from the arc and made all six of his free throws in the win, leading the Bears to a 24-of-28 performance from the charity stripe.
Samarco, who has reached at least 37 points four different times, recorded his career high before a raucous capacity crowd.
They needed it all to overcome the talented Tigers, who dominated the glass to the tune of 38-24 but turned it over 17 times in suffering only their third loss of the season.
Pikeville (19-8, 7-3) maintained its tie for second place in the league standings with Cumberlands, an 82-79 winner over WVU Tech, Pikeville’s Saturday-afternoon opponent.
The hottest team in the Mid-South, the Bears have now won four straight and seven of their last eight.
Georgetown fell to 24-3 on the season, 8-2 in the league.
Pikeville led most of the way, but when sophomore Matt Walls nailed a three with three minutes left, the Tigers took a 72-71 lead.
It lasted only 20 seconds, with Samarco reining in a three. While Walls pulled the Tigers within one with 3.1 seconds left, it wasn’t enough – the Bears hit 3-of-4 from the line in the last 1.2 seconds left to seal the win.
Samarco was joined in double figures by sophomore Justin Hicks, who flipped in 13 thanks to 6-of-6 shooting from the line and dished out eight assists. Senior guard J.B. Smiley scored 11, pulled down nine rebounds and had five steals.
Georgetown got a tremendous game off the bench from sophomore Matt Walls. The Georgetown native fired in 21 to go with four rebounds. He was joined in double digits by senior Demetrius Guions, who fired in 17, and freshman Vic Moses who tossed in 14 and pulled down eight rebounds.
The leading rebounder was senior guard David Graham, who had nine to go with five points. Four of his caroms came off the offensive glass.
Georgetown heads home Saturday to play 15th-ranked Lindsey Wilson