Poor shooting plagues CU --
LEBANON -- K.K. Simmons scored 24 points and Kenny Manigault added 16 as second-ranked University of Pikeville used a 16-3 run in the second half to pull away in a 75-54 victory over Cumberland Thursday in men's basketball action at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Bears (21-1, 8-1 Mid-South) led by three at the half and four just over five minutes into the second half before outscoring the Bulldogs, 37-20, over the final 15 minutes.
Manigault netted 14 of his 16 points after intermission and added six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Simmons hit three 3-pointers and was 7-for-9 at the foul line.
DeMario Frazier was the only Cumberland (7-15, 2-7) player in double figures, finishing with 13 points and nine boards, while Josh Wilkerson posted nine points, Marquel Hickerson netted eight and Telvin Wilkerson recorded seven.
The Bulldogs shot just 38.2 percent from the field (21-of-55) and blew several opportunities close to the bucket.
"We're sitting on 15 losses right now," said CU coach Lonnie Thompson, "we probably would have won eight more games if we could just make lay-ups. It's been that way all year. We have not been able to finish around the basket."
Manigault registered eight points during the 16-3 spurt early in the second half, including a 3-point play and four total free throws. Two foul shots from Malik Jacobs gave the Bears a 52-37 advantage with 9:55 remaining.
Buckets from Frazier and Telvin Wilkerson cut the deficit to 12 with 6:01 to play, but Pikeville netted 13 of the next 17 points. Simmons hit a pair of field goals and Jackson Hussey drilled a 3-pointer in the corner and added layup to finish the stretch for UPike's biggest lead of the game.
Simmons scored five quick points and the Bears took a 13-7 advantage just over seven minutes into the game. Buckets from Manigault and Macari Brooks and a 3-pointer by Trey Rakes extended the lead to 20-7 with 10:57 remaining in the opening period.
Simmons was fouled on a 3-pointer just over a minute later and made all three tries, but the Bulldogs put together a 15-3 spurt over the next five minutes. Frazier made a layup and then converted a 3-point play before consecutive trifectas by Alex Flagler and Cameron Prather, including Flagler's deep three at the end of the shot clock, cutting the deficit to 26-24 with 4:21 left in the half.
Simmons answered with his second 3-pointer of the period, but Paul Williams hit a short jumper in the lane and the Bulldogs had a chance to take the lead but missed several chances around the rim. Josh Wilkerson's layup made it a two-point game and the Bears held a three-point edge at intermission.
Simmons led all scorers with 13 points, hitting 3-of-6 attempts and 5-for-7 at the foul line while the rest of the Bears were just 1-of-6 at the charity stripe. Frazier led CU with seven points and missed two layups as well.
Cumberland plays at home again Saturday afternoon against the University of the Cumberlands on Upward Basketball and Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Day.