PIKEVILLE – A seven-point Lindsey Wilson lead was cut to one in the final minute, but Cassidy Martin connected on a pair of free throws to help the Blue Raiders hold on against the University of Pikeville 79-76 on Thursday at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
Trailing 75-68 with less than a minute to play, Cheyenne Madden put back an offensive rebound and Callisha Johnson hit a three to make it a two-point game with 30 seconds left. Tara Arnold answered with a layup, followed by a three from UPIKE’s Kelah Eldridge to get within one.
Then the clock became an issue as there were only 0.3 seconds to play as Martin went to the line for the free throws. Down three, all Brogan Conley could do was throw a full court pass, but the horn sounded as soon as it was deflected by a Lindsey Wilson player.
Conley paced the Bears (6-9. 1-3 MSC) with a season-high 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Madden, Eldridge and Johnson all pitched in with 10 points each. Eldridge also dished out a game-high six assists.
For Lindsey Wilson (13-4, 3-2 MSC), Kayla Richardson led the way with 17 points, followed by Arnold with 13 and Martin with 12. Chanel Roberts led the backboards with eight rebounds although the Blue Raiders were beat on the glass 49-38.
Pikeville shot just 36.9 percent for the game, compared to 50.8 for Lindsey Wilson. Both teams hit six 3-pointers and the Blue Raiders hit just one more field goal. The different came down to the free-throw line, where the Blue Raiders had five more makes.
UPIKE controlled the offensive glass early on, at one point getting five rebounds on one possession, but the problem was getting a shot to fall. The Bears finished with a dominant 25-8 advantage in offensive rebounds.
Lindsey Wilson took advantage of the poor shooting to go up 12-8 on Elder’s layup and kept the lead until a rebound and jumper from Christin Haney put the Bears up 20-19 with 9:24 left in the half. The Bears never trailed the rest of the half, but tallied a biggest lead of just four points at 29-25 on a three from Conley.
In the final 20 seconds of the half, Courtney Haney hit a shot from the corner and Arnold answered with a three on the other end to send the teams into the break tied at 35.
The first five minutes of the second half belonged to the Blue Raiders, opening up with an 11-2 run to lead 46-37 after a shot from Kayla Richardson in the paint with 15:20 to play. UPIKE answered right back with a 9-2 run of its own, ending with Porter sticking in a second-chance bucket to get within two at 48-46.
After falling behind again by as many as seven at 60-53 with just over eight minutes to play, UPIKE went on an 11-3 run over the next four minutes to get within a point. But just like before, the game got away from it again as Lindsey Wilson built their seven-point lead in the final minute.