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Bulldogs battle tough with No. 25 Cumberlands in defeat
Nov 24, 2012 12:00 am
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – Despite leading #25 University of the Cumberlands at the half, Cumberland University dropped a 69-62 decision with a well-balanced scoring attack led by Brian Blackmon and Lester Gude scoring 10 points each at the O. Wayne Rollins Center.
CU (2-4, 0-3 Mid-South) was an energetic and refreshed team, eagerly looking to earn its first conference win. Creshaun Holt reappeared in the starting lineup to provide some relief down low for the Bulldogs, coming up big in the first twenty minutes, scoring seven points and pulling down three rebounds.
Jerret Towns also was coming into his old form, ripping down seven boards and scoring four points in the first half. Eight of the nine Bulldogs that entered the game would score in the first stanza, willing CU to a one-point advantage at the half.
The Patriots immediately went inside to 6’10” Antonio Bumpus on the first possession after the break to gain the lead. Baskets were traded back and forth between the teams, but a Blackmon field goal gave the Bulldogs a two-point advantage with 15:27 to go.
A missed three-pointer by Towns with just over thirteen minutes remaining in the game sent CU’s Terry Williams and UC’s Benito Santiago, Jr., crashing to the floor in pursuit of a loose ball. After the scramble a double technical was called, and the jump ball was in favor of the Patriots.
With emotions running high, UC went on a 6-0 run, running out to a 53-45 lead. The Bulldogs responded with consecutive field goals by Kenneth Stripling and Towns, and E.J. Perry sunk two free throws to bring CU within two. With 5:39 remaining and the Patriots up six, Gude hit a three and Taj Abdul-Kaudeyr made a bucket to cut the lead to 61-60. Santiago then went to work for UC, scoring two baskets and two free throws. The Bulldogs could not get any offense going in the final minutes, and the Patriots hit their free throws down the stretch seal the victory.
Abdul-Kaudeyr and Holt combined for 18 points and nine rebounds for CU, and Towns ended with 11 caroms.
For the Patriots, Santiago led his team with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulldogs are off until next Monday when they return home to face Freed-Hardeman in non-conference action at 6:30 p.m.