WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – Callisha Johnson poured in 25 points and Cheyenne Madden added 18, but it wasn’t enough for the University of Pikeville women’s basketball team to get past No. 22 Cumberlands (Ky.), losing 90-87 at the O. Wayne Rollins Center on Saturday.
Julie Haye scored a career-high 24 points and Brooke Forsythe added 20 as the Patriots held off a furious rally from the Bears in the final two minutes. Up just one with 11 seconds left, Jackie Alexander hit two free throws and UPIKE’s three at the buzzer misses the mark on the other end.
Pikeville outrebounded the Patriots 32-24, but was outshot 53.4 to 45.3 percent from the field and had four more turnovers.
The first nine minutes were full of shooting woes for UPIKE, hitting just four of its first 14 shots, but luckily Cumberlands went empty from behind the arc, allowing the Bears to stay within one at 10-9 after the first media timeout.
Johnson had half of the Bears’ points, but was shooting just 2-of-7 from the field at the 10-minute mark of the first half. After nearly three minutes of scoreless basketball, Johnson added a pair of free throws with 8:30 left to take an 11-10 lead.
Alexander answered on the other end with a three, which Khalilah Quigley quickly matched on the next trip down the floor, then added a layup in transition to keep the Bears ahead by three at 16-13. Quigley finished with 17 points in her second game action of the season.
Haye went to work to get the Patriots back in the game, hitting four free throws and connecting on a pair of baskets over the next three minutes to put the Patriots up by four. Late, first-half threes were the only thing keeping UPIKE close as both Patrice Tonge and Brogan Conley hit big shots.
Keeping the hot hand, Haye gave the Patriots their largest lead of the half at 34-28 with back-to-back baskets. To keep the lead from growing any larger, both Lakeria Crowder and Courtney Haney added baskets in the final minute to make it a 36-32 Cumberlands lead at the half.
The first four minutes of the second half consisted of Haye and Johnson trading baskets with the Patriots continuing to lead by no more than six. Eventually Johnson had a baseline jumper fall short and Alexander popped a three near the top of the key to give the Patriots a nine-point lead with 14:53 to play.
UPIKE put a stop to the run with a three from Quigley, two free throws from Courtney Haney and a put back by Tonge to get within four. But Haye hit a foul-line jumper and Forsythe stuck in a layup to quickly get back to a 58-50 advantage.
Cumberlands would go up by 13 a few minutes later as Forsythe finished a 3-point play and then hit a jumper on the next trip to go up 71-58.
With the help of threes from Quigley and Tonge and the Bears’ full-court press causing some turnovers, UPIKE clawed back within five at 75-70 with 5:36 to go. It’s the closest the Bears had been since the 10:30 mark of the half.
Madden followed that up with back-to-back 3-point plays by Madden to get within three, then following a Cumberlands basket, got a three from Johnson to get within two.
In the craziest sequence of the game, UPIKE kept the ball on its side of the court for four free throws, five field-goal attempts and six offensive rebounds to take an 83-81 lead on a shot in the paint by Quigley.
Herman added back-to-back buckets for the Patriots to give them a two point lead, then Quigley, doing this all with four fouls, hit two more free throws to tie the game in the final two minutes. With 1:10 to play Herman got loose at the top of the key for a three, then Johnson ripped a steal at half court and went in for a layup to make it 88-87.
Chaos ensued on the next possession as the Bears briefly got a steal, then gave it right back to the Patriots who called a quick timeout. The officials decided to turn off the shot clock with the change of possession and just 11 seconds to play. Alexander was sent to the free-throw line, hitting both, and Johnson’s three at the buzzer missed the mark.
The Bears are back in action at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, hosting Rio Grande (Ohio) at the East Ky. Expo Center.