LAS VEGAS – A furious comeback that tied the game with 7:11 took all the gas out of the University of Pikeville on Wednesday afternoon as it fell short of Viterbo (Wisc.) University 75-69 in the Trip Sports Las Vegas Hoopla.
Pikeville (4-9) trailed by as many as 15 in the first half but cut the V-Hawk lead to five by the half. The Bears led briefly on three occasions in the second half before running out of steam down the stretch.
Viterbo (5-8) ripped the nets for 50 percent first-half shooting and sank eight three-point shots before the half to stretch its lead. UPIKE, however, made 55.6 percent of its shots before halftime yet trailed in the game because it missed both free-throw tries and was only 5-of-9 from the line.
Pikeville trailed 7-2 early before freshman Brooke Coleman came in and scored on back-to-back trips, including a three-point play to start things and tied the game with 16:17 left.
But the V-Hawks went on a 13-0 run, hitting three three-point shots, and when junior Dani Templin sank her first with 10:17 left, it was 20-7.
The lead grew to 24-9 only 1-½ minutes later.
But Pikeville got solid play from freshman Whitney Belle Jackson, who had four straight points, and sophomore Kayla Stamper scored six straight Bear points to cut the lead to 10.
Pikeville closed the half with a 12-5 run, and when freshman Christin Haney scored at the horn, the Bears were within five at 40-35.
Jackson opened the second half with consecutive baskets and when sophomore Brogan Conley scored with 16 minutes left the game was tied at 41 for the first time since 7-all.
Two minutes later, Stamper scored on a putback and then found Conley for a layup to put the Bears in front 46-43, which would prove to be the biggest lead of the game.
The game was tied at 50, 52 and then at 56 with 7:11 left on a basket by freshman Kayla Smith.
But the V-Hawks then scored eight straight to start a 12-1 run, getting half their points from junior Sami Weaver, whose layup with 2:17 left made it 68-57.
Pikeville would get no closer than the six-point spread at the end.
Five Bears scored in double figures, led by Haney’s 13. Conley, Stamper and freshman Sydni Wainscott had 11 markers apiece. Conley led the team with six rebounds, Wainscott paced the club with four assists and three steals and Stamper was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor.
Jackson added 10 points.
Viterbo was led by junior Brooke Anderson’s 16 points. Templin added a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Weaver came off the bench for 12.
The Bears shot 50.9 percent overall but sank only 1-of-6 three-point tries and was a mere 12-of-22 from the line.
Pikeville will be back in action on Dec. 28-29 when it plays in a classic at Union College in Barbourville.