WISE, Va. – Basketball season came to an end for the University of Pikeville women’s team after a 71-59 loss to U.Va.-Wise on Monday night.
Needing a win and an Lindsey Wilson loss to Campbellsville to qualify for the eight-seed in this week’s Mid-South Conference tournament, the Bears couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain and saw the season end with a record of 11-19, 6-14 in the league.
Wise, knowing its season would end tonight, finished 8-21 overall, 5-15 in the conference.
The loss also brought an end to the storied career of Coach Bill Watson, whose team won seven of their last 11 after he announced his pending resignation at the end of January. Watson closed his career with 242 wins, the most of any basketball coach in school history.
Early on it was all Bears, as junior Callisha Johnson scored all of her team’s points in a 9-2 start that took 3:37 to compile. But the Cavs used the next three minutes to get back in and when senior Chelsea Cluesman hit a jumper with 14:34 left, the game was tied at 9.
A bucket by Charlotte Reasor with 4:19 to play in the half put the Cavs on top 29-21, but Pikeville closed it out with an 8-0 run. Again it was Johnson scoring the first five, and a three-point shot by junior Brogan Conley sent the teams to the half with the teams deadlocked at 29.
The Bears again charged out of the gate to start the second half, scoring nine of the first 11 points. Sophomore Christin Haney nailed a three with 17:14 left to push the Bears in front 38-31.
But from there it was all Cavs. A pair of Cluesman free throws tied it at 38 with 14:45 to play, and 35 seconds later, a three by Katie Lester put the home team in front 41-40.
The game was tied one more time but Wise never trailed again.
Pikeville hit only 27.7 percent overall and was 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) from the arc. After a 7-of-10 first half from the line, the Bears finished 15-of-26 (57.7 percent) from the line.
U.Va.-Wise won on a night it shot 39.1 percent from the floor. The Cavs were 6-of-25 from the arc and was 15-of-25 from the line.
Johnson’s 23 points led the Bears, and she was one of three Bears with seven rebounds. Junior Brogan Conley tossed in 13.
Senior Sally Roberts had seven rebounds and two assists in her final game, while senior Anne Klee scored two points and pulled down six rebounds.
Wise was led by Cluesman’s double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds. She was joined on the double-double list by senior Christine Nyobe’s 10 points and 11 rebounds. Reasor had 13 points and eight rebounds.