PIKEVILLE, Ky. - It wasn’t the easiest win that UPIKE men’s basketball has earned this season, but the Bears erased an 11-point lead in the last eight minutes of regulation to defeat Campbellsville, 83-80.
Much like the first matchup between these two teams, it was a hard fought, slow, grudge match in the early going with neither team separating itself from the other. Both teams had at least a five-point lead in the first half but it was Campbellsville who took a three-point lead into halftime.
After the two teams seemingly matched each other bucket for bucket early after halftime, Campbellsville went on a 10-2 run to build itself a 10-point lead. However, UPIKE did not go away quietly.
Campbellsville had a nine-point lead with just under six minutes to go before the Bears went on a 14-2 run to take its first lead since the early stages of the game. Chase Parsley, Da’Rell Domineck, Jovontae Carleton, and Jayvian Delacruz all had a hand in the run.
A total of five Bears scored in double-figures, led by Domineck’s 15. Delacruz would hit a three-pointer with 1:07 left to give the Bears a five-point lead, but Stephaun Adams would respond with a three of his own that was heavily contested. Adams then hit two free throws with 21 seconds left to force overtime.
Xaviar Gaona provided a spark off the bench to begin overtime with two free throws then a deep three to give UPIKE a five-point lead from the onset of the extra period. Domineck would follow with two free throws of his own.
Gaona had 12 points off the bench with four rebounds. However, he was not the only Bear off the bench to contribute as Jazz Parker had an excellent game, going 6-10 from the floor for 13 points with two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Adams would do his best to bring Campbellsville back, but late free throws down the stretch by Delacruz iced the game for the Bears. Delacruz had a modest game by his standards, with 12 points but more importantly, eight rebounds.
The other two honorees on senior day — Jovontae Carleton and Stanley Perrin — both had good games as well. Carleton had 14 points with three steals, while Perrin had four points, six rebounds, and two steals.
With the win, UPIKE locked up the No. 2 seed in next weekend’s MSC tournament. The Bears will get a third shot at Shawnee State, the No. 7 seed. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday at the East Kentucky Expo Center.