TaCouya Allen scored 23 points, including 15 in the second half, and added nine rebounds, but Callisha Johnson countered with 21 points, leading three Pikeville players in double figures in a 68-63 Bears victory in women’s basketball action Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Pikeville (11-12, 5-6 Mid-South) outscored the Bulldogs, 9-4, over the final 2:09 of the game, playing better in the final minutes to pull out the victory, just as the Bears did in the first meeting this season when they ended the contest on a 14-5 run, hitting all eight foul shots in the final minute. On Thursday the visitors were 5-for-6 at the charity stripe in the final minute.
Cheyenne Madden’s bucket plus the foul gave Pikeville a 64-60 lead with 2:09 left and the freshman added another field goal in the lane 30 seconds later. Johnson netted two foul shots for a 65-60 advantage for the Bears, UPike’s largest lead of the game, and Cumberland was never able to pull closer than three the rest of the way.
Madden finished with 15 points and Kelah Eldridge posted 10, including six straight near the five-minute mark of the second half. The contest featured six ties and 11 lead changes, with seven lead changes in the second half.
Allen connected on all 12 of her free throw attempts, a career-best for makes and attempts, including all 10 in the second half, keeping the Bulldogs in the game. Cumberland (9-11, 5-7) shot just 22 percent from the field in the second half, including 1-of-7 at the foul line, but hit 18 of 20 at the foul line, taking advantage of 13 personal fouls whistled on Pikeville after the break.
Casie Cowan’s jumper 19 seconds into the second half gave the Bulldogs a 36-32 lead, tying the biggest lead for either team after intermission, but the Bears came back with a 10-2 stretch to take their own four-point advantage, led by five points from Madden. CU later put together a 9-1 spurt highlighted by four free throws and a 3-pointer from Allen.
Pikeville’s 8-1 run later in the period gave them a three-point edge, as Eldridge took the rebound and went the length of the floor for a layup plus the foul. She hit a 3-pointer from the corner on the next trip for a 57-54 UPike lead with 4:52 remaining, but the Bulldogs would not go away, scoring four straight – two foul shots each by Katie Smith and Cowan – for a 60-59 edge with 2:26 remaining.
From there the Bears took over in a replay of the first meeting for their fourth win in the last five contests overall.
Cowan finished with 17 points, with Cowan and Allen hitting 11 of 21 shots overall but the rest of the squad making only 7 of 28 in the game.
The Bulldogs jumped out quickly behind three buckets from Tasia Blue, including a runner in the lane, a banked in 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock and an 18-footer. Andrea Morrisett’s two foul shots put CU ahead, 18-8, with 11:49 left in the opening period, but the Bears answered with a 10-2 spurt, starting with a jumper from Madden.
Four other UPike players scored during the run, but Cowan’s contested trifecta kept Cumberland in the lead, at least for the time being, at 23-18, with 6:34 remaining in the half. Johnson’s first of two 3-pointers tied the game at 25, but Cowan answered with her second trifecta of the period as well.
Johnson had another basket before an off-balance runner off the glass by Lakeria Crowder gave Pikeville its first lead of the game at 29-28. Cowan made a layup, as did Terra Pryor, and Cowan added another jumper for a 34-32 CU edge at the break.
Cowan netted 10 points and Allen added eight, though just four points in the last 18 minutes after scoring four on the team’s first three trips up the floor. Johnson made 5 of 8 shots from the floor and posted 12 points for the Bears.
Cumberland will play host to Bluefield on Saturday on Play4Kay day for the women's basketball team. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.