Virginia-Wise went ahead 45-41 early in the second half, then UC found some energy as Humphrey turned in a resounding slam dunk on a fast break as the Golden Eagles took the lead for good at 47-45 with 12:59 left in the game.
UC answered the bell again after junior guard Tyler Maggard knocked down a 3 to pull Virginia-Wise within three points (52-49) with 10:19 to go. The Golden Eagles used an 11-0 run to pull away for the victory, punctuated by back-to-back 3s from Kesic and Humphrey.
Virginia-Wise made another push on junior guard Javon Moore's 3 to close to 63-54 with 4:26 to go, but UC's Simpson nailed a 3 and the Golden Eagles knocked down 13 of 15 free-throw attempts over the final 2:51 to lock it up.
"The first half looked sluggish, but when we got to the second half we locked down and played half-court defense,'' said Humphrey. "Our team getting this victory is more important than me having a big game. As a senior I just want to carry my team, if that means defense, scoring, rebounding, anything to do to get our win.''
Moore finished with 25 points and seven rebounds for Virginia-Wise (7-7, 4-6) while Deon Boyce turned in 16 points and 13 boards and Matt Day dropped in 13 points and nine caroms.
"We're trying to get a little bit better every day,'' said Osborne, whose team sits in third in the MEC and just one game behind second-place Shepherd. "I think it's a theme for us this year, we're pursuing excellence.
"It's something you're never going to get to, but we're trying to get a little bit closer, a little bit closer. Play better the next time out than we did last time. I'm sure proud of the work.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.