Late spurt lifts Bulldogs, 78-73
LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland used a late 8-0 run to break a tie game and Thomas Douglas scored 15 points to lead four double figures scorers, as the 15th-ranked Bulldogs held on to defeat Bethel College, 78-73, Thursday night in McKenzie, Tenn.
Cumberland (23-4, 12-3 TSAC) scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 46-34 lead three minutes into the second period, but Bethel responded with a 17-4 spurt to take a 51-50 lead with 12:57 remaining in the game. The teams jockeyed back-and-forth for the next six minutes and were tied 63-all after a Dontaye Hinton field goal for the Wildcats (13-16, 2-13).
The Bulldogs scored the next eight points to take the lead for good, with Douglas making two free throws, Kenneth Simms adding a bucket, Brandon Powell knocking down a 3-pointer and Brandon Springer hitting 1-of-2 foul shots.
Antoine Lesesene’s field goal with 1:31 remaining broke a five-minute scoreless stretch for Bethel. Springer and Mario Stowers both hit one plus the bonus for CU and Powell added a bucket with 16 seconds to play to ice the victory.
Springer scored 14 points with six rebounds, while Rontreal Braxton added 13 points with five assists and Powell netted 11. Hinton scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Wildcats and Lesesene posted 11 for BC.
Cumberland continued its trend of scorching the nets in the first half, shooting a blazing 64 percent (16-for-25) in the period but holding just a 37-34 lead at the break. Both teams committed eight turnovers but Bethel collected 12 second chance points on seven offensive rebounds.
The Bulldogs started the game with a 14-6 spurt in the first four minutes, with Springer and Jamar Finley both netting five points and Simms adding four. CU held the lead for most of the half but the Wildcats tied it twice before taking their first lead of the period, 32-31, with one free throw from Eddie King.
Braxton made two free throws with 1:05 to play and Powell added a bucket with 40 seconds left to give the Bulldogs their three-point advantage at intermission.
Cumberland hosts rival Trevecca Saturday in its final regular season game at 2 p.m. at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.