PIKEVILLE, Ky. – If Coach Kelly Wells wanted to see his team react to a challenge, the finale of the BB&T Classic provided all he needed. The Bears needed a 10-0 run late in the second half to pull out a 72-63 win over U.Va.-Wise.
Pikeville (2-0) was in its predicament because of some woeful shooting at the line. Before sinking 4-of-4 in the final 43 seconds to ice the game, the Bears ad made only 6-of-24 in the game.
Freshman Patrick Fisher sank a three-point basket with 5:57 remaining to put Wise on top 58-57. But the Bears finally responded, getting five consecutive layups – two each by seniors J.B. Smiley and Ewan Linton – to lead 66-58 with 1:35 remaining.
In the final minute, Smiley sank two free throws before sophomore Justin Hicks – a 91.4 percent shooter a year ago – hit two with 29 seconds left to ice the game.
Junior center Anthony Smith came off the bench for his second double-double in as many nights, scoring 15 and pulling down 11 rebounds. Seven of his boards were offensive, and he added three blocked shots in only 20 minutes of action.
Senior Charles Bronson followed with 14, but was the culprit from the line; he missed 11 of his 13 tosses. Linton had 10 points and seven rebounds.
U.Va.-Wise (0-2) got a double-double of its own, as sophomore Kevin Perry led the way with 15 points and 13 rebounds, with six of them coming off the offensive glass.
Sophomore Adam Hood and freshman Josh Jordan tossed in 12 markers each.
Thanks to Smith’s effort in the post and help from three other teammates with at least six rebounds each, the Beas won the battle of the glass 51-42.
It’ll be as short time of rest for the Bears, who play their first road game of the season Monday night when they visit Shawnee State University for a 7 p.m. tip.