No. 8 Lindsey Wilson edges No. 6 UPIKE men’s basketball 68-65

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Jayvian Delacruz’s three with 1.3 seconds left missed the mark, allowing eighth-ranked Lindsey Wilson to hold on for a 68-65 win over the University of Pikeville men’s basketball team in Mid-South Conference play on Saturday.

The Bears (16-2, 1-2 MSC) were fortunate to have the opportunity to tie it as Rze Culbreath forced a turnover in the back court that took less than a second off the clock. But Delacruz faced tight pressure on his attempt, causing it to fall short.

Delacruz finished with a team-high 19 points and Darrion Leslie and Jordan Perry joined him in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Bryan Wallace made the difference for Lindsey Wilson (17-0, 3-0 MSC), netting 30 points, including 20 in the first half alone. He made four 3-pointers and also swiped four steals. Charles Sutton added 13 points and Nic Broqn pulled down nine boards and blocked three shots.

With both teams shooting right at 45 percent from the field and Lindsey only making one more 3 at 6-5, free throws ended up playing a large role. The Bears made just 8 of 18, compared to 16 makes on 23 attempts for the Blue Raiders.

UPIKE’s struggles from the stripe wasted a 40-29 edge on the backboards. Early foul trouble in the second half hurt the Bears’ chances as well with Lindsey shooting in the bonus after just seven minutes of play.

This was a classic MSC contest, hard fought with nine ties and five lead changes. UPIKE’s largest lead was seven late in the first half, while the Blue Raiders never led by more than five.

It took 12 minutes for either team to get real separation as LWC took a 24-20 lead on a Brown layup. Prior to that, Lindsey was down 17-15 with 9:06 on the clock before going on a 9-4 run. But a 3 from Delacruz and swipe and layup by Chase Parsley put the Bears back in front 25-24.

Following a three and jumper by Delacruz, UPIKE was up seven with 2:42 left until halftime and ultimately took a five-point lead into halftime.

Lindsey Wilson was hot out of the gate in the second half, regaining the lead at 49-47 after outscoring the Bears 15-8 over the first six minutes. Neither team led by more than five the rest of the way and it was just a 3-point Lindsey lead with a minute left.

UPIKE came up empty though on the next two possessions as Domineck missed a pair of free throws and Culbreath was just off the mark on a tying 3 with 13 seconds left. Nic Brown, a 50-percent free throw shooter, seemingly iced the game with two makes from the stripe, but the Bears still had time for a Perry layup and near miracle off the turnover forced by Culbreath.