PIKEVILLE, Ky Much like Friday's game, UPIKE women's basketball needed some grit and grind, but it got enough to get the job done with a 71-58 win against Bluefield on Saturday.
UPIKE outscored the Rams 20-9 in the final quarter with a 10-0 run in the final five minutes to ice what had been a tumultuous game.
The usual suspects to do damage for UPIKE so far this season were held relatively dormant on Saturday as Kayla Mullins, Emily Baker, and Mary Englert combined for just 12 points.
However, with one freshman guard having an off game, another stepped up in Alexis Reed who shook off a tough game on Friday to turn in 14 points, three rebounds and three assists with just one turnover.
Also, senior forward Theodora Odia helped pick up the frontcourt slack with a team-high 15 points to further illustrate the depth that coach Clifton Williams’ squad has this year.
Neither team could buy a bucket in the early stages with both teams shooting below 30 percent from the field in the first quarter. UPIKE was able to build a lead and hold it by getting the Rams in foul trouble and being nearly automatic at the free-throw line. The Bears made 9 of 11 free throws in the first quarter to build a six-point lead going into the second.
Both offenses started stirring from their slumber by the second quarter. UPIKE opened the period on a 9-0 run with four straight makes, but Bluefield was able to chip away and keep it a single-digit lead by halftime.
Bluefield's offense came out of the halftime break with a fury, shooting over 60 percent in the third quarter. Despite that strong shooting, UPIKE appeared to have enough firepower to keep the Rams at bay; but Bluefield closed the quarter on a quick 7-0 run to slash the lead to three in the final quarter.
But from there, it was the Bears’ turn to take over, more specifically Odia. She scored nine points in just 2:30 to turn what was a six-point lead into a 13-point lead and ice the game.
UPIKE is now 4-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season when the Bears opened the season 17-0.
UPIKE will head up to the banks of the Ohio River tomorrow to face Northern Kentucky in an exhibition contest. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Highland Heights, Ky.