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Bears knock off Bluefield, 87-80

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – The University of Pikeville women’s basketball team held off a strong rally by the Bluefield College Rams to cap a convincing 87-80 triumph Thursday night at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

By driving inside for most of the first half, the Bears were able to put several key frontline players for the Rams into foul trouble early. This also had the added benefit of creating an advantage in free throw shooting (25-of-39 for UPIKE; 10-of-20 for the Rams).

The Bears pick up a much needed Mid-South Conference win to bring them to 6-15 overall, 3-10 in the Mid-South Conference.

Pikeville had the statistical oddity of having more steals (10) than turnovers (nine). The Rams turned the ball over 12 times in falling to 14-9 on the season, 6-7 in the league.

The Bears were led in scoring by junior forward Calisha Johnson, who continued her impressive run of form with a career-high 28 points and six rebounds.

Freshman guard Kayla Day came off the bench to put in 11 points, matching her career-best total she had in the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 5.

Day’s senior counterpart Sally Roberts added 10 points and five assists, with fellow starter Jayme Jackson contributing a further five assists in addition to her nine points.

Junior forward Brogan Conley scored 10 while pulling down six rebounds, and senior forward Anne Klee anchored the Bears defensively with four steals.

The Rams’ offense was led by senior guard Ashley White and junior forward Janee Simmons, both of whom had 22 points. Simmons came up just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds before fouling out of the contest late.

White, on the other hand, played the entire 40 minutes without being substituted and produced five assists for the Rams. Junior guard Tequila McNeal was able to score 13 points while recording a game-high seven assists.

The Bears can now take some momentum into Sunday’s 3 p.m. game against Indiana University-Southeast at the UPike Gym. Bluefield, meanwhile, travels to U.Va-Wise on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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