PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- Saturday’s contest against Cumberlands. (Ky.) drew a lot of parallels to Thursday’s contest against Life, except for one crucial aspect: UPIKE withstood a Patriot storm that helped it keep its distance. That wave allowed the Bears to defeat the Patriots 82-68 and move to 2-1 in the Mid-South Conference.
For the second consecutive game, UPIKE had double-doubles from both Brianna Burbridge and Emily Baker. Burbridge had 25 points and 15 rebounds, both of which are career highs, while Baker had 16 points and 11 rebounds. For Burbridge, it was her third straight game with a double-double, going back to last Saturday’s game against Shawnee State.
The Bears dominated the first two quarters to build a huge early lead. UPIKE opened the game on a 13-0 run in true team fashion as no single player made more than one shot or a pair of free throws. UPIKE shot 50 percent from the floor in the first quarter, while holding Cumberlands just under 24 percent.
That momentum continued in the second quarter to a lesser extent. The Bears still shot above 40 percent, but a majority of the offensive production came from Burbridge. The Frankfort native scored 10 of her 25 points in the second. UPIKE lead by as many as 18 but went into the half with a 16-point lead.
Cumberlands had its strongest quarter by far in the third, but UPIKE was able to keep pace early on with the Patriots to keep them from cutting deep into the lead. In fact, early in the quarter, UPIKE built its largest lead of the game at 21 points. UC started to make Bears fans anxious in the fourth as a 10-0 run drew the Patriots within single digits for the first time since the opening minutes.
Pikeville then responded with a 6-0 run that essentially served as the dagger as Cumberlands would fail to get the game back into single digits the rest of the way.
The Bears are now 13-6 overall and will try to get to 3-1 in the Mid-South in the rubber game of this three-game homestand against Cumberland (Tenn.) on Thursday. The women’s game is set to tip at 6 p.m. at the East Kentucky Expo Center