PIKEVILLE, Ky. – The University of Pikeville Bears broke a tie with a 10-0 run and held on for a 74-70 win over Lindsey Wilson College on Thursday night in a critical Mid-South Conference women’s basketball game.
With the win, the Bears improved to 5-11 in the league, trailing the 6-10 Blue Raiders for eighth place with four conference games remaining. Only the top eight teams will play in this year’s league tournament.
“We’re in it now,” said Coach Bill Watson, who guided his team to its fifth win in six outings – 3-1 in the league – since announcing his resignation at the end of the season. “We’re right where we want to be. We have a chance now to make it to Frankfort and that’s what we’re shooting for.”
Lindsey Wilson (15-11) tied the game at 57 with 5:26 to play on a jumper by senior Ashley Rainey. From there, however, the Bears put in 10 straight points. A three-point by junior Callisha Johnson broke the game’s ninth and final tie 15 seconds later. Pikeville never trailed again.
Johnson led all scorers with 28 points, while Rainey finished with 26 and 19 rebounds, 10 off the offensive glass.
After a pair of free throws, junior Brogan Conley nailed a three from the corner, created a steal and hit an 18-foot jumper from the same area.
In only 2:23, the Bears led 67-57.
But only a couple of minutes later, the Blue Raiders made a final charge to get back in the game.
The Raiders needed only 1:03 for a 10-4 run. Rainey had the first four on putbacks, and when senior Sarah Beth Gillis nailed a three from the corner with 12.9 seconds left, the lead was down to a precarious two at 72-70.
The Bears, however, sank their final seven free throws, and when Johnson hit two with 11.9 seconds left, the lead was 74-70.
The Raiders missed the front end of a bonus with 6.4 seconds left, and the Bears dribbled out the clock.
Pikeville won on a night it hit 38.6 percent from the floor thanks to 9-of-20 (45 percent) from the arc. Lindsey Wilson shot 37.7 percent overall and was 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) from the arc.
Lindsey Wilson won the rebounding 48-36 thanks to Rainey’s effort.
Rainey was joined by Brimm in double figures; the guard tossed in 18 to go with seven rebounds. Gillis finished with six points, six assists and five rebounds.
Johnson had two teammates in double figures. Conley fired in 18 on 4-of-6 from the arc and blocked three shots. Sophomore Whitney Belle Jackson finished with 10 and seven rebounds.
Pikeville will play its home finale on Saturday when it hosts Campbellsville at 2 p.m. The Blue Raiders will head to U.Va.-Wise for a 2 p.m. contest.