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The Tigers fought hard and for the majority of the game no one seemed to play better than Monty Wilson against the No. 2 University of Pikeville Bears. But with 34 seconds left and down one (77-76), Georgetown College coach Chris Briggs drew up a play for the junior that went awry.
"I thought I had lost it," Wilson said.
Fortunately the Decatur, Ill. native got a shot at redemption almost six seconds later and did not disappoint the Georgetown faithful in attendance at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville Saturday night. The Tigers (13-4, 5-4 Mid-South Conference) pulled off the upset and walked out the 80-77 victors. The win snapped UPike's 11-game win streak that dated back to Nov. 17.
The Bears (17-2, 8-2) forced Wilson into a turnover with just more than 14 seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbounds play Montavious Marc committed his fifth foul and sent Elisha Justice to the line. The junior transfer from Louisville missed the front end of the bonus and Garel Craig came out with the rebound. He drove it the length of the floor and found Wilson filling lane on the right side. Wilson got the pass, scored the wide open bucket and got fouled. He hit is free throw for his 22nd point and a 79-77 Tiger advantage.
Craig then fouled Chris Johnson on the next Bear possession, prevent a three-point opportunity for a team that is ranked 12th in three-point percentage and is 8th in threes made this season. Johnson also missed his front end of the bonus. Allan Thomas corralled the rebound and was fouled to give GC the final margin of victory.
"We battled and that's been a great part of this team in recent weeks," Briggs said. "When we were playing with a shortened bench we had to learn to really trust and rely on each other as well as play smart. I think we are seeing the rewards of those two tough road games we played with eight people."
Wilson was joined by three other Tigers in double figures. Craig had 18, Thomas 15 and Vic Moses chipped in with 12. GC limited the Bears in second chance opportunities – a point of emphasis coming out of this past week's home games. UPike had eight offensive boards to GC's 30 defensive boards and the Tigers won the battle 38-24 on the glass overall.
Georgetown now plays a random Monday game at 6 pm at University of Virginia College at Wise due to the cancellation of Thursday's conference showdown. Follow live stats at http://live.uvawisecavs.com/xlive.htm; and the broadcast at http://www.uvawisecavs.com/.
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|NAIA National Tournament Single Elimination|