PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Another week of the regular season is in the books and the University of Pikeville men’s basketball team is still on top of the NAIA Coaches’ Top-25 Poll, officials from the national office announced on Tuesday.
The Bears received their first regular-season top billing in last week’s ratings and held on to the spot with Mid-South Conference wins against Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Cumberland (Tenn.) on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
UPIKE topped the Blue Raiders 70-52 after trailing by six at halftime and finished off the week with an 82-68 win over the Bulldogs. Chris Cantino averaged 24.5 points and 12 rebounds in the two contests to capture the MSC Player of the Week award.
The top-ranked Bears, the only undefeated team in MSC play, will be tested again at the end of the week with conference road trips to No. 18 Georgetown (Ky.) on Thursday and Cumberlands (Ky.) on Saturday.
Winning its last nine games, UPIKE collected nine of the 10 available first-place votes in the poll for 250 total points in the third edition of the rankings.
Pikeville ranks No. 1 nationally with a +28.9 scoring margin and is third in scoring at 95.6 points per game. In seven of their last eight contests, the Bears have defeated their opponent by at least 14 points.