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Early dominance leads 23rd-ranked Bears past Cumberlands

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – No. 23 University of Pikeville scored the first 11 points of the game and led 17-2 early en route to a 67-56 win over the University of the Cumberlands Thursday night at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

Pikeville (13-7, 5-4 in the Mid-South Conference), after scoring the first 11, never allowed the Patriots to get closer than eight en route to the regular-season sweep.

Junior Trevor Setty scored two early field goals, and when senior Chris McHenry nailed a three from straight away the lead was 11-0 with 14:12 to play. After Cumberlands got its first points on a layup by Benito Santiago Jr., McHenry and sophomore Josh Whitaker sank back-to-back threes to make it 17-2 with 11:38 left in the half.

Cumberlands (11-8, 4-5) scored seven straight to get within eight but got no closer.

The hot start mirrored the atmosphere in the arena on Appalachian Wireless Night, as 3,012 were on hand to see Bears’ fan Jason Sword of Virgie win the 2012 Kelly Wells Signature Edition UPIKE Ford F150 at halftime.

Pikeville finished the game at 52.3 percent from the floor, but primarily won the game by holding the Patriots to 36.2 percent shooting overall and 28.6 percent from the arc.

Both teams managed 17 turnovers in the game, with Pikeville taking a 32-31 win on the glass.

Four UPIKE starters reached double figures in the scoring column, led by McHenry’s 15 points. The Milwaukee native hit 3-of-4 from the arc in the win.

Senior Andrew Young followed with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Cordaro Ellis tossed in 12 on 6-of-6 shooting from the field, while Whitaker finished with 10 points and five assists.

Setty, the Maysville native who was the national-tournament MVP last year, had eight and a game-high six rebounds.

Cumberlands, led by Pikeville native Don Butcher, had three players in double figures. Senior Zavion Neely led all scorers with 17 points, adding four rebounds and four assists.

Santiago had 11 points and four steals, while senior Matt Daniel added 11 points, a team-best five assists and tied for team honors with five rebounds.

Pikeville will remain home on Saturday for a meeting with No. 8 Lindsey Wilson, which will come to town off a 58-51 loss to U.Va.-Wise on Thursday. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. and be preceded by a 10:30 ceremony to honor the UPIKE Hall of Fame Class of 2012, and a women’s game between the schools at 2 p.m.

Cumberlands will remain on the road and play at Wise on Saturday at 4.

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