PIKEVILLE – It took about 30 minutes to get going, but the top-ranked University of Pikeville men’s basketball team eventually put away Lindsey Wilson, tallying a 70-52 win on Thursday at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
Although the final score was lopsided, it looked like it could be anyone’s game for the majority of the contest. Lindsey Wilson led the final 10 minutes of the first half and took a six-point advantage, its largest of the half, into halftime at 34-28.
The Blue Raiders (10-7, 1-4 MSC) kept their lead for nearly six minutes in the second half until Chris Cantino’s second-chance bucket off a turnover make it 37-36. Lindsey Wilson wasn’t done as Alex Giergen’s three with 10:29 to play finished off an 8-2 run that put it back up by five.
Leading 44-39, the Blue Raiders wouldn’t score another point over the next five minutes as a 19-0 UPIKE run sank any hopes of earning the upset. Both Chris Cantino and Bruce Reed scored eight points during the scoring spree.
Cantino finished with a game-high 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Reed also posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 boards. The 70 points were a season low for UPIKE (13-1, 4-0 MSC) as it struggled with the ball at times, turning it over 15 times with just nine assists.
Luckily it was another dominant performance on the backboard for the Bears, posting a 45-26 advantage which led to a 20-7 lead in second-chance points. Pikeville has been outrebounded just once in 14 games.
Lindsey Wilson got 12 points from Daronte’ Clark off the bench, while D’on Hall and Anthony Crenshaw finished with 10 points each. Five rebounds from Tony Horne led the Blue Raiders.
It might not have taken as long to control the game for UPIKE if it had better luck from the field. The Bears shot just 35 percent overall and 15.8 percent from behind the arc (3-for-19). Lindsey Wilson shot 43.8 percent but wasn’t physical enough to match the Bears’ free-throw chances.
After playing a first half with just six total fouls between both teams, UPIKE found its way to the line in the final 20 minutes, hitting 24-of-30 attempts. The Bears were just 1-for-2 from the stripe in the first half.
Lindsey Wilson shot just nine free throws in the game, hitting six and turned the ball over 22 times as the Bears finally closed the door on the outcome.