Junior Josh Wilkerson sunk a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime, but the Bulldogs scored just one point in the extra period as Cumberland fell, 55-52, to the University of the Cumberlands in men’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Bulldogs (12-6, 4-5 Mid-South) were unable to overcome an abysmal 27.8 shooting percentage from the field, and overtime proved a microcosm of the contest as CU was unable to hit a shot during the final five minutes of play. The Cumberlands (12-7, 4-5) also failed to register a bucket, but four free throws proved to be the difference.
The game seemed to come to a conclusion at the end of regulation when, trailing by two, Wilkerson missed from three with time running out, but a late whistle sent the Memphis, Tenn., native to the line. Wilkerson hit two-of-three to force overtime.
In the second half, Cumberland made just 6-of-21 shots as UC erased a three point halftime deficit. The Patriots took their first lead of the second half at the 13:55 mark. Cumberland would spend the remainder of the contest fighting from behind.
For the second straight game, Wilkerson sparked the offense in the early going of the first half, scoring seven of the Bulldogs first nine points as the squad jumped out to a 9-2 lead at the 14:45 mark. Those seven points marked the first of his career-high 20 in the game.
Wilkerson’s hot hand cooled, however, as the Cumberlands clawed back into the game, taking the lead 17-13 with seven minutes remaining in the first half. Following a pair of free throws from redshirt senior Lamar Brinkley, freshman Marquel Hickerson knocked down a pair of treys separated by a Lester Gude layup during a 12-0 run from the Bulldogs, culminating in a 25-17 advantage with 3:54 to play.
The Patriots would hold CU scoreless from that point until the halftime buzzer, closing the frame on a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 25-22 heading into the locker room.
Hickerson led the Bulldogs with eight points in the half on 3-of-8 shooting, including hitting 2-of-3 from behind the arc. Wilkerson added seven going 3-for-7. Cumberland led at the break despite a poor shooting performance, connecting on just 32 percent (9-for-28) in the first 20 minutes. The Cumberlands shot 30 percent (6-for-20) from the field.
Senior Lamar Brinkley added nine points and nine rebounds in the game, and Lester Gude added five points and eight boards. Hickerson did not score a point in the second half, ending with eight.
Cumberland will return to action Thursday against St. Catharine for the first of a pair of road contests. The Patriots defeated Cumberland 83-60 on Jan. 2, in the two squads’ first matchup this season. Tip-off for the Mid-South Conference outing is set for 7 p.m.
Cowan's 26 not enough for CU ladies
Casie Cowan hit six 3-pointers and netted 26 points, but the University of the Cumberlands started the second half with a 13-0 run and held on in the final five minutes, as the 22nd-ranked Patriots posted a 71-62 victory over Cumberland in women’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Bulldogs (8-9, 4-5 Mid-South) followed much the same script as Thursday’s loss to No. 6 Georgetown College, with the Tigers using a 12-2 spurt midway through the second half to open a 15-point advantage only to watch CU answered with a 17-5 run, pulling within three before Georgetown held on, 63-59.
On Saturday the Patriots (13-6, 7-2) started the second half 6-of-10 from the field while the Bulldogs were 0-of-7. Jill Herman netted six points and Julie Haye added five during the 13-0 stretch for UC, giving the visitors a 45-27 lead with 15:09 remaining.
Cumberland got back into the game with a 13-4 run over a four-minute stretch, with five different players netting points. Layce Colter started the spurt with a layup and Ngodoo Itiavkase added a putback and hit a baseline jumper just before the shot clock expired. TaCouya Allen hit two foul shots to end the run for the Bulldogs, pulling within 60-54 with 5:15 remaining.
But CU did not score a field goal for almost three minutes afterwards and Herman, who led the Patriots with 22 points and 10 boards, knocked down four straight free throws, pushing the UC advantage back to 10. Cumberland never got closer than seven the rest of the way, the club’s fourth loss in the last five outings. The Bulldogs also dropped to 2-6 this season against ranked teams.
Cowan tied season-highs with nine made field goals and the six trifectas, finishing 9-of-21 overall and 6-for-13 from behind the arc. The rest of the team was just 12-of-32 from the field.
Allen collected 10 points and eight boards while Colter netted 11 points off the bench, including a pair of 3-pointers. Katie Smith had nine points and five rebounds but missed significant time in the second half because of foul trouble.
Brooke Forsythe posted 21 points and six boards for the Patriots, netting 13 in the second half. Jackie Alexander hit three 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 13 points along with seven caroms, and Haye registered 11 points and six boards.
The first half was back-and-forth, featuring 14 lead changes and no team holding bigger than a five-point advantage. Neither team led by more than two points in the first nine minutes before back-to-back 3-pointers from Herman and Alexander put the Patriots ahead, 26-21.
The Bulldogs battled back with an 8-2 spurt, as Cowan knocked down her third trifecta of the period and five free throws from Allen and Colter gave CU a 19-18 edge. Herman had a layup and then another 3-pointer for UC before Cowan answered with another trifecta.
But Lynnae Lampkins and Alexander knocked down 3-pointers for the Cumberlands in the final two minutes, sending the visitors to the locker room with a 32-27 advantage.
Cowan scored 14 of the club’s 27 points on 5-of-12 shooting with four 3-pointers, but the rest of the squad hit just 3 of 11 shots. Herman paced UC with 12 points and Alexander made 3 of 5 from behind the arc for nine points.
Cumberland will hit the road this week for contests at St. Catharine (Thursday) and Campbellsville (Saturday).