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UPike women’s basketball holds off Alice Lloyd 78-70

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Callisha Johnson scored 18 points and dished out five assists to help the University of Pikeville women’s basketball team rally past Alice Lloyd (Ky.) in the second half for a 78-70 win on Sunday at the East Ky. Expo Center.

The win avenged a loss in the season opener for the Bears and puts them at 5-6 overall heading into Tuesday’s 5 p.m., home tilt with Union (Ky.).

Pikeville was in control early, gaining a 25-18 lead on a layup from Kandice Porter with nine minutes left in the first half. The Eagles bounced back though with a 6-0 run, ended by Ariel Nickell’s jumper in the paint to make it 25-24 two minutes later.

Nickell struck again with a 3-point play to give Alice Lloyd its first lead at 31-28 and it eventually went into halftime with a seven-point lead.
The tandem of Nickell and Carla Booth couldn’t be stopped as they finished the game with 28 and 24 points, respectively. Luckily for UPIKE, 21 of Nickell’s points were scored in the first half as they keyed in on her to comeback in the second half.

With added defensive intensity came an 8-0 spurt for the Bears out of the break. Less than two minutes into the half, UPIKE had already taken a 43-42 lead on a layup from Johnson at the end of the run.
Like good players tend to do, Booth stepped up for Alice Lloyd and knocked down a pair of threes to put her team back up by five. The back-and-forth affair continued with Johnson and Patrice Tongue hitting back-to-back shots to put the Bears back up by one.

It was at that point with less than 15 minutes to play that the tide turned for good as UPIKE went on a 13-0 run while attacking the rim and making three free throws to go up 60-50.

Brogan Conley gave the Bears their largest lead of 12 points with a jumper off Johnson’s assist with 7:22 left. The game didn’t get interesting again until Nickell grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast to cut the deficit to five at 75-70.

There was just over three minutes left at that point and Alice Lloyd never scored again as the Bears went 3-for-4 from the line over the final stages to collect the 78-70 win.

Porter and Kelah Eldridge added 11 points each and Cheyenne Madden scored 10 for UPIKE. Porter also grabbed a team-best nine rebounds as the Bears posted just a 47-46 advantage on the backboards and blocked a game-high four shots.

Amber Shepherd showed up late for Alice Lloyd to score seven points, while the high-scoring Nickell and Taylor Arthur both grabbed 10 rebounds.

Pikeville shot the ball much better than Alice Lloyd, hitting 45.3 percent from the field compared to 29.2. Three-point shooting went in favor of the Eagles 30 to 27.3 percent. Booth had the hottest hand from outside, knocking down four threes.

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