Springer’s fifth straight double-double leads comeback
McKENZIE, Tenn. – Cumberland University used a 15-3 run late in the second half to knock off Bethel University 62-56 in comeback fashion Monday night at Dishman Gymnasium.
The Bulldogs (6-12, 3-2 TranSouth Conference) were led by Brandon Springer, who scored 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. The double-double effort was the fifth straight and 13th on the year for the Nashville, Tenn., native.
Cumberland played most of the game from behind most of the game, losing its lead with 1:57 remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs got back on top with the big run that concluded with a pair of free throws from Adrian Williamson with 3:11 on the clock.
CU fell behind by eight points early in the second half before beginning to chip away. The visitors got within a point at 36-35 when Williamson scored on a fast-break layup after a steal by Lindal Yarbrough at midcourt. Williamson finished the game with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Yarbrough had 10 points and three steals.
The Wildcats (9-9, 1-3) kept some distance between themselves and Cumberland when the Bulldogs fell victim to traveling violations on three straight possessions. CU knotted the game up at 45 apiece when Yarbrough drove the lane and hit a layup from the left side and completed the three-point play with a free throw.
Cumberland went to the charity stripe 23 times in the second half, making 19 of the freebies. The final nine points of the game for CU came from the free throw line as the Bulldogs sealed the win.
The game got off to a slow start as Cumberland failed to connect on a field goal for the first 4:25 of the game, missing several layups and scoring just one point – on a Walter Simon free throw. Cumberland limited the damage early as CU only trailed 4-1 when Andrew Ayodeji hit the Bulldogs’ first basket on a jumper in the lane.
Cumberland came back and took its first lead since 1-0 when Springer tipped back his own shot, making the score 7-6. From there the lead changed hands seven times before intermission, when Bethel held a 24-20 advantage.
CU was successful on only eight of 27 shots in the first half, including missing all five 3-point attempts. The Bulldogs committed four fouls, but kept the Wildcats off the charity stripe for the entire first half.
Lamar Brinkley also finished in double figures with 10 points. Bethel was led by Donald Harris’ 13 points, while Andre Crudup totaled 11.
The Bulldogs return home for a pair of games later this week, playing Union University on Thursday at 8 p.m. and Martin Methodist on Saturday at 4 p.m.