Sat, Mar. 18, 2017
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Third-seeded Pikeville (Ky.) dropped an overtime thriller to No. 1-seeded LSU Alexandria (La.), 84-80, in the quarterfinals of the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship in Kansas City, Mo.
Trey Rakes scored a game-high 21 points for the Bears (28-8), while Rze Culbreath had 17 points and Darrion Leslie recorded 16 points. Jordan Perry was the final player for Pikeville in double figures with 12 points.
Brandon Moss had 20 points of the bench to lead the Generals (34-0) and Brian Sylvester tallied 16 points. Jordin Williams and Hayward Register each reached double figures scoring 15 and 11 points, respectively. LSU Alexandria is the only unbeaten team remaining in the NAIA.
Neither team took a large advantage at any point in the contest as the game was played within 14-point window throughout. The Generals had the largest lead of the game at nine points, while the Bears' largest lead was five points – both came in the second half.
LSU Alexandria scored the first five points of the game and after Pikeville tied the game at 11 and then 13, it took its first lead of the contest at 16-13 following a three from Culbreath with 10:20 to play in the first half.
The Bears led by three points four times in the first half, but a quick 12-2 run from the Generals flipped its three-point deficit into a 29-22 lead with 3:26 left in the first half. Pikeville closed the half on its own 12-2 run to take a 34-31 halftime lead, following a three pointer from the Rakes at the buzzer.
An early basket from the Bears to start the second half gave Pikeville its largest lead of the contest at 36-31. Both teams traded baskets in the early part of the second half as the lead changed hands three times in just over a minute.
After LSU Alexandria took a 42-41 advantage with 16:49 left in regulation, it held that lead until Pikeville tied the game and then took the lead following a pair of free throw from Culbreath with 7:07 to play. During that span, the Generals largest lead of the game came at 56-47, which was erased with a 14-3 run for the Bears.
Over the final seven minutes of the second half, Pikeville never trailed but the Generals tied the game three times. Both teams went cold to finish the game as neither team hit a field goal over the last 2:15 of regulation. The only points that were scored during the final two minutes were two free throws from the LSU Alexandria to tie the game, 70-70, and send the game into overtime.
The Generals scored first in the overtime period and never looked back as it led the entire period, en route to an 84-80 victory.
Pikeville shot 43.5 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc, compared to LSU Alexandria's 48.4 percent and 33.3 percent, respectively. The Bears finished the game 18-for-31 from the free throw line.
Pikeville ends its season with a record of 28-8 overall.