PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Senior Ethan Moffatt scored a career-high 22 points and Blake Yates connected from three with nine seconds in regulation to send the game to overtime, but the Shawnee State men’s basketball team was not able to overcome No. 1 University of Pikeville in extra time, falling, 83-82, on Monday night at the East Kentucky Exposition Center.
Shawnee State (10-12, 4-6 Mid-South) was able to force overtime thanks to a furious comeback in the second half, erasing a 12-point halftime deficit by connecting on 18-of-26 attempts in the second frame. UPike (20-2, 7-2 Mid-South) built a five-point advantage in overtime and connected on two free throws in the final 30 seconds to take the lead for good.
SSU had a pair of opportunities in the final five ticks, but could not get a final shot to fall through the net, allowing the nation’s top-ranked team to escape with the victory.
Along with Moffatt’s 22 points, three Shawnee State players landed in double-figures, as Devon Carter (SR/Clayton, Ohio) tallied 16, while Nick Tingle and Nick Gouch scored 14 and 12, respectively. Yates added eight points and five assist in the contest.
UPike was led by a 21-point performance from Blake Yates to go with 18 from Christian Leach and 16 from Macari Brooks. It was Leach who would hit the final free throws to give the home squad the victory.
Shawnee State struggled from the field in the opening half, hitting just 10-of-29 attempts, while Pikeville connected on 15-of-35 attempts to surge ahead in the early going. SSU fought back in the opening minutes of the second stanza, but were unable to get even until the four-minute mark in the half.
From there, SSU was able to jump ahead by four off a bucket from Moffatt and a fast-break dunk from Gouch. Trey Rakes responded for UPike with a triple, and Simmons brought the game even for the fifth time with a free throw. Pikeville built the lead up to three points before Yates hit from the left wing to lock the game again for the final time in regulation.
Shawnee State returns to action Thursday when the Bears square off against the University of the Cumberlands in the friendly confines of Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium. Game time is slated for 8 p.m.