MARIETTA, Ga. – Senior guard Jamar “Deuce” Briscoe had 37 points, including the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to give ninth-ranked Pikeville a 102-100 win over Life University Wednesday night at the Eagle’s Nest.
Briscoe, a 6-0 guard from Baltimore, had only seven first-half points, as did fellow senior guard Trevor Setty. The duo finished with 64, including 13 of their team’s 16 overtime points to will their team to the win.
Life (1-2), a talented team that got votes in the NAIA Div. I preseason men’s basketball poll, led by 14 (35-21) at one point in the first half and held a 45-33 edge at halftime.
But Pikeville (5-0), which shot only 31.4 percent in the first half, came out firing in the second 20 minutes, lifting its shooting to 46.5 percent.
Tied at 86, the Bears had a chance to win the game in regulation but a shot by junior guard Darnell Tubbs fell short.
In overtime, Pikeville went 6-of-13 from the field but 3-of-5 from the arc. Briscoe sank both of his, including the game-winner as the horn expired.
The Bears got the ball with 27.7 seconds left after senior guard Bobby Smith sank both free throws to put his club on top 100-99. Smith led five Runnin’ Eagles in double figures with 23 thanks to 11-of-12 shooting from the line.
Pikeville got a shot that failed and a tip that missed before the ball wound up in Briscoe’s hands with nine seconds left on the right wing. Both teams seemed out of control, but the calm senior elevated and hit his fifth three-point shot in nine tries on the night to end the game.
Setty, who also had seven in the first half, finished with 27 points. Junior guards Tubbs and Ryan Whitaker each tossed in 11.
Whitaker added nine rebounds, eight coming off the offensive glass, to go with three steals before fouling out in the final minute of play.
Junior forward Brandon Greene, the early leader in blocked shots in the Mid-South Conference, had eight points and 11 rebounds to go with five deflected shots.
Life had five players in double figures. After Smith was senior guard Greg Thomas, seeing his first action of the season, fired in 22 and hit all three of his three-point tries.
Senior forward Andrew Woods had 14, senior center Mike Robertson 13 and senior center Stefan Pope 10.
Life edged the much-smaller Bears 47-45 on the glass, with nobody having more than senior Dennis Harris with seven.
Life lost on a night it shot 52.1 percent overall, 40 percent from the arc and was 20-of-26 (76.9 percent) from the line at home.
Pikeville will be back on the court at the East Kentucky Expo Center on Saturday afternoon against regional rival Alice Lloyd. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.