MARIETTA, Ga. -- Thanks to another massive night from Luke Layhew and some clutch shooting from Jayvian Delacruz, UPIKE was able to get its second consecutive road win against a team mentioned in the Top 25 poll, defeating (RV) Life in overtime, 85-79.
Layhew came away with a performance that topped his already incredible outing on Thursday, scoring 28 points on Saturday with another 18 rebounds. Between the two games this weekend, Layhew averaged 26.5 points and 18 rebounds.
The West Virginian junior scored 22 points in the second half and overtime to help propel the Bears to the win. However, he didn’t have the most important shot on the night.
With two minutes to go in overtime, Jayvian Delacruz hit his only 3-pointer of the game to give UPIKE the lead at 77-76. From there, the Bears went on an 8-3 run to win the game.
Life’s Cam Horton hit a 3 to cut UPIKE’s lead to one with 38 seconds to go, but then Delacruz hit five of six free throws to ice the game. Delacruz scored 18 points, to inch even closer to 1,000 points in his career. He now sits at 988 in his year and a half career.
For most of the game, Life executed its game plan to force UPIKE into a half-court game to perfection. As an unintended consequence, it took Life out of its comfort zone as well and neither team was able to fully get into the flow of the game.
Neither team led by more than six in the first half or more than five after the first ten minutes. Life built a six-point lead again early in the second half but UPIKE found enough grit to stay in it.
After both teams shot above 48 percent in the first half, neither team shot above 35 percent in the second half. However, UPIKE made 13 of its 15 free throws which allowed the Bears to keep its foot on the gas.
Life started to contribute to its own downfall late by getting into heavy foul trouble. By the time the dust settled, four Running Eagles had fouled out, which led the Bears to shoot 18 more free throws than Life, and make 11 more.
Also, with the win, UPIKE stands alone in second place in the Mid-South Conference at 6-3 with six conference games left to go.
UPIKE will attempt to make it three wins in a row and avenge a previous loss on Thursday against Lindsey Wilson. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. at UPIKE Gym.