PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker in overtime Monday afternoon, as a free throw from Alice Lloyd College junior forward Ariel Nickell eked out an Eagles win 88-87 in overtime.
Nickell, who spent most of the afternoon as the focal point for the Eagles’ offense, had a game-high 39 points, which were more than ample to give her a double-double with her 13 rebounds in addition to three steals.
The Bears took an 80-78 lead when junior Callisha Johnson sank a free throw with 2:11 to play in regulation, and the Eagles tied it 11 seconds later when Nickell sank a jump shot. The teams played a scoreless final two minutes and headed to overtime.
In the extra frame, each team held a one-point lead in the opening minute before the game was tied at 87 on a layup by sophomore Whitney Belle Jackson with 26 seconds to play. It was the 11th and final tie of the contest.
Nickell went to the stripe with five seconds to play and, after missing the first toss, sank the second. A three-point shot from the top of the key fell shy of the bucket as the horn sounded.
Nickell’s performance was supplemented by sophomore guard Carla Booth’s 17 points, eight rebounds, and a game-high of seven assists. Sophomore guard J.J. Hickson added an extra 14 points and five assists, while junior guard Courtney Crowder shot 100% on the night to get 10 points along with her six rebounds.
UPIKE was led by junior forward Brogan Conley’s 25 points and seven rebounds. Conley also had a strong impact defensively with six steals and three blocks. Sophomore center Whitney Belle Jackson put in 19 for the Bears, with freshman Peyton Wright scoring 13 and junior Calisha Johnson coming off the bench for 14 points and three steals.
The Bears now drop below .500 at 5-6. They will be back in action tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. when they host visiting Lee University. Alice Lloyd will have a chance to savor their hard-fought win over Christmas break before resuming their season on January 4th when they host Point Park University.