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Bears cling to life in ITCs

LINCOLN, Neb. – The University of Pikeville staved off elimination on Thursday night with a 4-2 win over Robert Morris (Ill.) University in the second round of the 2012 USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships at Sun Valley Lanes.

The win came on the heels of an opening round loss to Calumet College of St. Joseph.

With the win over Robert Morris, the Bears will advance to the 9 a.m. EDT third round where they will meet Florida State University in another elimination game.

UPIKE 4, Robert Morris 2: Consensus All-American Kim Yioulos picked up a 9-10 spare in the 10th frame of Game Six to secure the 191-182 win and eliminate the Eagles.

Pikeville got strikes from four starters in the decisive game and took advantage of an open eighth frame to pull out the win.

The Bears opened with wins in the first two games by scores of 200-195 and 210-173. In the opener, six strikes, including two by senior Natasha Martin and a turkey in frames five through seven for the win. Game two saw four more strikes and no open frames for an easy win.

Robert Morris rallied for the tie, winning 217-179 and 210-178 in the next two games. Two open frames in the second half of Game Three cost the Bears, while the Eagles opened with a turkey to take control of Game Four.

But from there the Bears took control in Game Five when Yioulos, needing seven for a tie, rolled a strike on the fill ball for a 183-180 win.

UPIKE rolled 21 strikes and left only seven frames open in the set. Sophomore Christina Halen had six strikes to pace the Bears, while Martin, Yioulos and senior Megan Kyle had four each.

Junior Brandy Hensley had three strikes.

Calumet 4, UPIKE 2: The last thing any team wants to do in a double-elimination tournament is lose in the opener, and that’s exactly what happened to the Bears on Thursday evening when they lost to Calumet 4-2.

Pikeville left 14 frames open in the loss.

The Bears opened as strongly as they’d played all day, rolling a pair of turkeys in seven strikes to win the opener 237-150. Game Two was a tight one that Calumet held on for a 200-191 win, while Calumet took advantage of six strikes to win 222-176 in Game Three.

Pikeville rallied for a 159-151 win in Game Four, surviving four open frames – including three straight – to win thanks to a strike by Hensley in the ninth and a spare-strike in the 10th by Yioulos to even the count.

But from there the Hawks pulled away. The Bears were open in the first three frames and five overall in a 178-135 loss in Game Five, and Calumet strung together five consecutive strikes to close it out with a 229-180 win.

Halen led the Bears with six strikes, with Hensley following with five. The junior from Corpus Christi was the only player without an open frame.

Yioulos and Martin had four strikes each while Kyle added two.

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