WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Castle, Bears turn back Truett-McConnell

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PIKEVILLE - The University of Pikeville women’s basketball team matched a season-high with 19 steals, leading to a 35-7 advantage in points off turnovers, as it routed visiting Truett-McConnell College 89-49 on Thursday night at UPIKE Gym.

While the whole team led to a stellar defensive performance that limited TMC to just 31.5 percent shooting, it was the UPIKE bench that did the bulk of the scoring.

Magoffin County High School graduate Jamie Castle, a freshman, delivered eight points, five assists and one steal in 21 minutes for the Bears. 

Reserves Aundrea Matchen (17), Devin Conley (12) and Rachel Lee (11) were the only Bears to reach double figures scoring. It was a strong first showing for Conley, hitting two threes and all four free throws, after joining the team over the semester break after initially signing with NCAA Div. I Binghamton.

Conley was a top recruit out of Kentucky after her senior season at Boyle County last season. She ended up playing 19 minutes against Truett-McConnell, adding an assist and three steals.

Truett-McConnell (3-10), which also goes by the Bears, had two players reach double figures in reserve Monica Hammond with 12 points and Natalie Johnson adding 10.

UPIKE (12-4) won the battle on the backboards 55-41 and had just 13 turnovers compared to 31 for TMC. It wasn’t an outstanding shooting night for Pikeville either, hitting at 40 percent from the field and hitting just 9-of-32 threes, but it did knock down 14 of its 20 free-throw attempts.

Truett-McConnell never led in the game, instead quickly going down 21-3 over the first seven minutes as a layup from Dinyell Calvert made it an 18-point UPIKE lead.

The lead reached 20 two minutes later on a jumper from Kelah Eldridge and never dipped below that mark. UPIKE was up 54-26 at halftime and went on to lead by as many as 40 points in the second half on Conley’s second three.