UPIKE women’s basketball suffers early bounce from MSC tournament

PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- UPIKE women’s basketball came out flat and were never able to recover, losing to No. 6 seed Georgetown on Friday, 75-63.

Unlike UPIKE’s previous two matchups against the Tigers, the Bears were never able to deliver the early punch and assert its skill. In fact, outside of the opening minutes, UPIKE never led in this iteration between the two.

The lack of flow and cohesion early benefitted Georgetown and the Tigers took a two-point lead out of the low-scoring first quarter at 14-12. For most of the game, UPIKE was shooting better than the Tigers, but Georgetown’s pressure on defense caused Bear mistakes. Georgetown score 12 points off turnovers to UPIKE’s six.

Georgetown seemingly got open jumpers off in the paint all night, and even scored off UPIKE contact. Hailey Ison in particular converted four and-one attempts in the second half to help score a game-high 18 points.

Ison, Madison Darnell, and Olivia Bowling did a majority of the damage for Georgetown. Darnell had a strong double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Bowling had 12 points, almost all in the first half.

UPIKE went on an 11-2 run near the end of the third quarter to tie the game for the first time since the first quarter. Emily Baker had four of her team-high 16 points in that run. She also had five rebounds in the game. Mary Englert (12 points), Brianna Burbridge (11) and Mia Greatrex (10) joined her in double-figures.

Georgetown opened the fourth quarter with three-consecutive and-ones to deflate any air UPIKE had in its sails and the Bears couldn’t regain any momentum as the Tigers outscored the Bears by 10 in the final period.

With the loss, UPIKE’s fate now rests in the hands of the NAIA selection committee. The NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Selection Show will be held on Wednesday, March 5 at 6 p.m.