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Shooting woes do in Bears in MSC tourney

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The University of Pikeville made only 27.8 percent of its shots and was eliminated from the Mid-South Conference tournament with a 68-50 loss to the University of the Cumberlands Friday afternoon.

With the win, No. 5 Cumberlands will advance to Saturday’s semifinals where it will meet top-seeded Lindsey Wilson at 6 p.m. at the Frankfort Convention Center.

Pikeville, at 17-12, is a longshot to continue its season one year after winning the NAIA Division I national championship.

On Friday the Bears led four times early, the latest at 10-9 when junior Chris Watson hit a 17-foot jumper with 13:57 to play in the first half.

Cumberlands (18-11) then went on a 9-2 run to take the lead, and when senior Flynn Clayman made a free throw with 9:52 to play, the edge was 18-12.

Pikeville got within two at 18-16 on consecutive buckets, but the Patriots scored the next 14 points to double the lead at 32-16 with 4:05 left in the half.

The Bears battled, and when sophomore Josh Whitaker hit consecutive three-point shots and a free throw with 12:20 to play in the game, they were within six at 42-36. But Cumberlands would score 15 of the next 21 points to lead 57-42 with 4:29 left.

After Whitaker’s buzzer-beating three with 13:16 to play, the Bears had only one more field goal – A Whitaker layup – in the next 12:08.

Senior Andrew Young led the Bears with 14 points, followed by 13 from Whitaker. Both had six rebounds to lead the club.

Senior Zavion Neely led all scorers with 20 points, adding six rebounds. Clayman came off the bench for 14 and a game-high seven rebounds. Sophomore Steve Goins flipped in 12 and grabbed six rebounds.

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