One of the traditionally toughest haunts on the Georgetown College men's basketball schedule, University of Pikeville and Appalachian Wireless Arena didn't figure to get any easier Saturday afternoon, given the current state of the Tigers' roster.
Sparse on numbers on experience, GC still flaunted enough talent — particularly in the two-headed monster of Derrin Boyd and Kyran Jones — to extend a pair of gritty winning streaks.
Boyd continued his trend of one career-best after another this phenomenal redshirt freshman season with 29 points, while Jones coupled 25 points with 14 rebounds in a 90-79 victory.
In addition to its third consecutive win in the past eight days, Georgetown (5-1 overall, 2-1 Mid-South Conference) prevailed at Pikeville (2-3, 1-3) for the third season in a row.
Brodricks Jones scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half to give the Tigers a running start.
Still missing three top players – Jake Ohmer, Michael Turay and Elias Harden — GC received a career-high 10 points from Ohmer's younger brother, Chad.
Jaquay Wales added eight points and five assists. Seth Johnson snagged six rebounds, while Rashad Bishop put together five points, three rebounds and two blocked shots.
Those seven pieces were enough thanks to tidy offense (six turnovers) and a defensive effort that limited the Bears' leading scorer on the young season, Jordan Perry, to six points, a far cry from his average of 21.
Korbin Spencer paced UPike with 17 points and six rebounds. Malcolm Green chipped in 16 points, while Jacob Brown added 15 points and six boards. Jamir Simpson had 10 points.
There were 10 lead changes and 10 ties, but Georgetown controlled most of the second half.
Spencer sank a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute before intermission before Boyd’s bucket in the paint with seven seconds remaining put the Tigers on top, 38-37.
Threes by Taevon Horton and Brown each restored Pikeville's advantage early in the second half before Boyd bagged five unanswered points.
Pikeville pulled even for the final time at 48-all with Simpson's hoop at the 16:29 mark.
That was the inspiration for a full-on Kyran Jones takeover, which began with consecutive inside buckets to reclaim the lead.
Boyd later hit a 3-pointer to close out a 9-2 run, and he nailed another to give GC its largest lead of the afternoon, 62-52, with 12:05 to play. Jones scored to stop an 8-0 Pikeville run in reply.
Perry snapped out of his funk and twice brought the Bears within two points. Green's two free throws accomplished the same, 76-74, with 4:49 to go.
Seven of the next eight points went into Kyran Jones' column to put it away.
Neither team led by more than a single possession until Boyd's 3-point gave Georgetown a 17-12 edge with 12:22 to go in the first half.
Freshmen extended that advantage.
Bishop grabbed an offensive rebound to start a traditional 3-point play. Ohmer, who hadn;t played in a college game until Wednesday's win over Indiana University Southeast, buried a 3-pointer to make it 25-16.
Georgetown shot 34-for-64 (53.1 percent) overall, including a prolific 9-for-19 from beyond the arc. The Tigers were also 13-for-14 from the free-throw line, where Boyd and K. Jones combined to sink all nine of their attempts.
After scoring nine, seven and 11 points in his first three collegiate contests, Boyd, a 6-foot-2 guard out of Caldwell County, has gone off for 22, 28 and 29 in the past three.
Jones leads the team with averages of 21.2 points and 12.7 rebounds, up from 8.4 and 6.7 in a freshman campaign that saw the 6-foot-5 forward from Bowling Green start 27 of GC's 32 games.
In the Bob Davis/Jim Reid/Hapoy Osborne/Chris Briggs era, which began in 1953, GC has defeated five in-state rivals more than a hundred times: Union (109), Campbellsville (109), Transylvania (106), Berea (104) and Pikeville (103).
GC is scheduled to host Mid-South Conference newcomer Freed-Hardeman at 7 p.m. Thursday before a two-week Christmas break.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.