BECKLEY, W.Va. – Senior guard Cam Miller fired in 33 points and filled in the stat sheet to lead No. 9 Mountain State University past No. 22 University of Pikeville 83-73 Tuesday night at the Raleigh County Armory.
Miller had 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting overall and 5-of-10 from the arc. He made all four free throws, pulled down six rebounds, added four steals, three blocks and an assist while not committing a turnover in 33 minutes of action.
He was supported strongly by junior forward Isaiah Hill, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
The first half failed to find its rhythm as the teams were called for 27 personal fouls. Of them, 15 were against the Bears, but when the dust settled, the guests had been to the line 18 times compared to 16 for the Cougars. However, the Bears had struggled from the line as well as the field.
They’d hit only 10 tosses (55.6 percent), and that, along with 8-of-32 (25 percent) shooting from the field and going 1-of-11 from the arc resulted in the halftime deficit.
Mountain State (8-3) went on a 17-3 run, with Miller scoring nine of them. When Hill made two free throws with 13:32 left, the Cougar lead was 17-5.
But the Bears scored eight of their own. Junior Kenny Rhymes had the middle four, and when senior Chris McHenry scored on a layup with 10:37 left, the Bears were within four at 17-13.
The lead was 22-14 when the Bears had their next run. A 10-3 stretch could have been greater – UPIKE missed three of four free throws – got the lead back to a single point after sophomore Josh Whitaker and McHenry made layups to cut it to 25-24 with 4:48 left.
But the Cougars posted 10 quick points, scoring them in only 2:30, getting the lead to 35-24 with 2:10 left. At the break, it was 40-27.
The Cougars opened the second half with back-to-back threes by Miller to push the lead to 19. The lead eventually ballooned to 63-36 with 11:36 to play after a 9-0 run.
Pikeville (7-4) continued to play down the stretch, but got no closer than the final spread.
McHenry led the Bears with 25 points and four assists. Rhymes came off the bench for a solid 11 points and eight rebounds, while senior Shane Burrell had his second consecutive double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, five of which were off the offensive glass.
Pikeville edged out the Cougars 43 rebounds to 42, with 16 of them being offensive.
But while the Bears finished at 35.2 percent from the field, the Cougars were 46.7 percent overall.
In addition to Miller and Hill, junior guard Devon Peterson came off the bench for 14 points.
Pikeville will now be off for exams until Dec. 15 when it hosts Indiana-Southeast at the East Kentucky Expo Center.