PIKEVILLE, Ky -- Despite an early scare, UPIKE men’s basketball was able to handily defeat Wright State-Lake on Saturday, 111-69.
The Bears equaled WSU’s entire total in the second half alone after making some halftime adjustments. Five Bears scored in double-figures led by Jayvian Delacruz’s 18, who was a last-minute starting scratch to try to rest a lingering injury.
Pikeville missed Delacruz’s presence early as the Lakers seemingly couldn’t miss in the early stages and fell behind by eight points in the first 10 minutes. That gap likely would’ve been larger if it weren’t for the hot start from Xaviar Gaona who had 11 of UPIKE’s first 15 points. Gaona eventually finished with 14 and eight rebounds.
Once Delacruz entered, he scored seven straight points to spark the Bears offense which on a 20-4 run to close out the half and retake the halftime lead at 42-35.
That momentum continued to start the second half with a 9-0 run to expand the lead to 16. It wasn’t much of a contest from there as the Bears shot 57 percent from the floor and made 18 free throws to score 69 in the second period.
UPIKE shot 75 percent from the free-throw line in the game, its second highest mark of the season. Jovontae Carleton had his second consecutive game of stuffing all the stat columns with 14 points, eight rebounds, and a team-high six assists.
Luke Layhew also turned it on in the second half with a massive defensive outing, scoring 13 points, but also registering five of UPIKE’s season-high nine blocks in the game. Chase Parsley also had a strong game with 14 points and five assists.
The Heritage Classic concludes at 3 p.m. on Sunday against Ohio-Eastern at UPIKE Gym.