PIKEVILLE - No. 9 University of Pikeville outscored the University of Rio Grande 47-24 in the second half to pick up an 83-66 win on Saturday at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
Pikeville is 11-1 overall now. The Bears will take a 4-1 Mid-South Conference record into the break. Pikeville and Lindsey Wilson trail only unbeaten Cumberlands (10-0, 4-0) in the league standings.
Rio Grande (3-6, 1-4) trailed 19-14 with 9:10 to play in the first half but outscored the Bears 23-9 over the next 6:30 to take a 37-28 lead with 2:40 left in the half. The Red Storm took a 42-36 lead to the break.
But Pikeville came out of the locker room with a 16-2 run to regain control. Junior Brandon Greene had six points in the stretch while junior guard Josh Whitaker fired in eight, including a jumper with 13:10 to play that put the Bears on top 52-44.
After shooting 43.8 percent in the first half, the Bears hit 58.1 percent in the second half to pick up the win.
Senior guard Jamar Briscoe had 17 first-half points to keep the Bears in the game. He finished with 20 points and three steals to lead four players in double figures.
Senior Trevor Setty and junior Darnell Tubbs had 14 points each, with Setty handing out four assists and Tubbs pulling down a team-best seven rebounds.
Whitaker had 10 points and four boards.
Greene, a junior from Baltimore, had nine points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
Senior point guard Chris Johnson, who had five points and two steals, handed out 11 assists to lead the team to the win.
Rio Grande shot 46.2 percent overall but only 33.3 percent in the second half. It got three players in double figures, as seniors Turrell Morris and Dominick Haynes and sophomore Evan Legg had 10 points in the loss.
Morris added 10 rebounds off the bench to lead the Red Storm to a 37-31 edge on the glass.
Pikeville has two weeks off to deal with exams and will return to action on Dec. 15 when it hosts Life University. The game will be a rematch of Pikeville’s 102-100 overtime win over the Runnin’ Eagles in Marietta, Ga., on Nov. 7.
The upcoming game will be played at the Expo Center with a special tip time of 11 a.m.