GEORGETOWN — Monty Wilson scored 14 of his 20 points in the last 6½ minutes Thursday night, sparking Georgetown, No. 22 in the NAIA college basketball rankings, to a 83-76 victory over No. 7 Pikeville.
"I was kind of frustrated in the first half, and we wanted to win," said Wilson, a 6-foot-4 junior guard from Decatur, Ill. "If we were going to win, I had to pick it up the second half and Coach just put the ball in my hands and I did what we always practice."
Perhaps the coach, Chris Briggs, just knew what it takes to sweep a season series.
Georgetown won by nearly the same score, 80-77, Jan. 19 at Pikeville.
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"Everybody contributed," Briggs said. "Once again, guys step up in the absence of some guys. Pikeville's a heck of a team. Glad we were tough enough to pull it out down the stretch."
Briggs needed players to step up as pivot man Vic Moses played only the first 6:19 of the game. That's when he picked up his second foul and went to the bench. He became ill and did not return.
Georgetown (18-5, 10-5 Mid-South Conference) also got 19 points and five assists from Garel Craig, and Deondre McWhorter scored 15. Montavious Marc led the Tigers with 12 rebounds.
Pikeville Coach Kelly Wells heard a familiar ring in the final score. The Bears have failed to reach 80 points in all of their losses.
"I thought it was a great Mid-South Conference game and, like of lot of them do, boiled down to the stretch run," Wells said. "But they were better defensively and stronger offensively down the stretch."
Jamar Briscoe, a 5-10 senior guard from Baltimore, scored 26 points for the Bears (19-4, 10-4). Senior forward Trevor Setty, the former Mason County standout who transferred from Georgetown, added 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Pikeville led by as many as seven in the first half, the last time at 33-26.
Georgetown finished the half with a 10-2 run, taking the lead on Craig's three-point play with 2.8 seconds left.
It was close the rest of the way in a game that saw eight ties and 13 lead changes.
Wilson canned 12 straight Georgetown points, cutting Pikeville's lead from 64-59 to 72-71 with 3:49 left.
His flurry came on a drive through traffic, a step-back jumper and free throw, two more free throws, a three-pointer and two more free throws.
He would finish 4-for-8 from the field, 1-for-3 beyond the arc, 11-for-12 at the line.
D.J. Townsend's free throws put Georgetown ahead 73-72, but Setty did the same for a one-point UPike lead.
The Tigers took the lead for keeps when Craig passed to McWhorter for a two-handed slam and a 75-74 lead with 2:12 left.
A pair of free throws by Wilson and a fast-break tally by Craig made it 79-74, capitalizing on Pikeville misses from the field and free-throw line.
Briscoe's basket with 16 seconds left made it a 79-76 game.
Townsend added two free throws, and Allan Thomas iced matters with a run-out dunk.
Wilson, for one, was happy to win one for Moses.
"He's the glue to our team. He's everything," Wilson said. "We just wanted to win for him."
Georgetown made 26 of 34 free throws to help compensate for 20 turnovers. UPike, with 10 turnovers, was 13-for-18 at the line.