MARIETTA, Ga. – Chris Cantino tallied 25 points and 14 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to counteract 25 turnovers as the No. 7 University of Pikeville men’s basketball team lost for the first time this season at No. 23 Life (Ga.) 91-84 on Tuesday at the Eagles Nest.
It was the first road game of the season for UPIKE (5-1), which never led in the game despite playing the Running Eagles (4-2) close for the opening 14 minutes of the first half.
The Bears trailed just 31-24 with six minutes left in the half before Life went on a 16-6 run to enter the break leading by 17.
Life kept its double-digit lead for the first three minutes of the second half before a three by Bruce Reed cut the deficit to seven and five minutes later a layup by Elisha Justice made it a three-point game with 11 minutes to play.
The Running Eagles outscored UPIKE 17-9 over the next six minutes to go back up by 11 on a basket by Caleb Hayes. Devante McLung hit a shot with less than 10 seconds on the clock to get the Bears within six at 88-82, but Hayes made a free throw and Latraius Mosley scored off a turnover to hold on for the upset.
Keala King backed up Cantino with 22 points and eight rebounds and Justice joined them in double figures with 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. UPIKE shot over 54 percent from the field, much better than Life at 46.8.
The Bears outrebounded Life 43-34 and shot better from the field, but putting together a comeback was stymied by shooting below 50 percent from the free-throw line (14-of-30) and leading the game in turnovers 25-11.
Hayes paced the Running Eagles with 18 points, Jose Pena-Benjamin added 15 and Philip Jenkins finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
UPIKE will have over a week off as it returns to action at 8 p.m. ET in Mid-South Conference play at St. Catharine (Ky.) on Thursday, Nov. 21.