November 16, 20171st2ndFinal
#16 William Carey284270
Cumberland University411960
Stats at a GlanceWCUCU-M
FG Percentage.403 (25-62) .367 (22-60)
3P FG Percentage.360 (9-25) .278 (5-18)
FT Percentage.786 (11-14) .846 (11-13)
Offensive Rebounds1511
Defensive Rebounds2824
Total Rebounds4335
Turnovers1716
Steals710
Bench Points2011
LeadersWCUCU-M
PointsSalvant - 13
Sheppard - 13
Holt Jr. - 19
ReboundsSheppard - 10
Walker - 11
AssistsMoore - 4
Walker - 3
StealsMoore - 2
Holt Jr. - 3
Shelton - 3
BlocksWilliams - 3
Walker - 3
Phoenix let first-half lead slip away in 70-60 defeat
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Phoenix let first-half lead slip away in 70-60 defeat
Juandrico Walker recorded his fourth double-double of the season, collecting 10 points and 11 rebounds on Thursday night. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Sixteenth-ranked William Carey erased a 21-point first-half deficit, with Brandon Sheppard and Troy Salvant each scoring 13 points and Sheppard adding 10 rebounds in a 70-60 Crusaders victory over Cumberland in men’s basketball action here Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

Cumberland (3-3) shot 63 percent from the field in the game first 15 minutes, hitting four 3-pointers and netting 14 points off nine William Carey (2-1) turnovers, but the Phoenix did not score over the final 5:34 of the period and hit only 7-of-36 shots in the next 25-plus minutes of the contest.

The Crusaders cut eight points off the deficit before intermission and put together a 12-3 run to start the second half. Sheppard’s layup and a jumper by Jared Tillman started the period for WCU and Tillman added two 3-pointers, making it 43-40 with 15 minutes remaining in the contest.

Juandrico Walker’s tip-in ended the stretch, but a John Cornish triple from the wing after he just missed a 3-point try evened the contest at 47. Artis Cleveland’s turnaround in the lane gave William Carey its first lead since 2-0 at the 8:36 mark, but Cumberland answered with a trifecta from Andrew Rogan and two foul shots by Diondrey Holt, Jr. increased the lead to 52-49.

The Crusaders scored the next 14 points over two-plus minutes, starting with a tip-in by Sheppard and a 3-pointer from Salvant. WCU made four straight free throws after a personal foul and technical foul on the Phoenix and a dunk by Jaylen Moore preceded another 3-pointer from Salvant, extending the WCU advantage to 63-52 with 5:03 to play.

Cumberland came back with the next six points, including field goals by Will Shelton and Rogan and two free throws from Holt, Jr., but that was as close as the Phoenix would get. One free throw by Sheppard, two foul shots from Maurice Stephens and a layup by Sheppard increased the lead back to 10, essentially putting an end to the contest.

Holt, Jr., netted a game-high 19 points but made only 6-of-18 field goals. Walker finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks for his fourth double-double of the season, and Rogan added 15 points but just five after the break. Cumberland finished 5-of-18 from behind the arc but only 1-for-9 in the second half and committed 13 turnovers in the last 25-plus minutes.

Tillman collected 11 points and Moore recorded nine points and nine boards for William Carey.

Sheppard netted the first basket of the game for the Crusaders just 35 seconds into the contest, but William Carey scored just two points over the next five minutes. Cumberland put together a 15-2 spurt over that stretch, starting with a 3-pointer from Rogan and two baskets by Walker, the second one an alley-hoop flush.

Rogan added a layup before four points from Holt, Jr. and a dunk off a turnover under the basket by Ty Sean Powell, putting the Phoenix ahead, 15-4, at the 15:06 mark of the first half and forcing a timeout by the Crusaders.

Tillman ended the long drought for WCU with a triple from the left wing but Cumberland kept up the torrid shooting pace with 3-pointers from Holt, Jr., and Trenton Perry, extending the lead to 24-13 at the first media timeout.

Holt, Jr., posted two more baskets for the Phoenix and Walker added a layup as well, but trifectas by Quinton Williams and Salvant and a field goal from Peyton Owen got the Crusaders within 26-20 midway through the period.

Cumberland answered with a 15-0 stretch over the next four minutes, including a tip-in from Rhyan Townes and a 3-pointer and layup by Rogan. A jumper from the right wing by Holt, Jr., pushed the CU advantage to 41-20 with 5:34 left in the period, forcing another timeout from WCU.

The Phoenix failed to score for the rest of the half, missing seven shots and committing a pair of turnovers. The Crusaders cut into the deficit a little with baskets by Sheppard and Williams as well as a 3-pointer by Moore. Sheppard’s layup with just over a minute remaining made it 41-28 and that’s how the teams headed to intermission.

Cumberland shot 48 percent from the field and hit 4-of-9 from behind the arc, but that percentage was at 63 percent before the last five minutes of the period. Holt, Jr., led all scorers with 13 points and Rogan netted 10 for CU.

William Carey committed 11 turnovers, which the Phoenix turned into 14 points, and WCU shot only 32 percent from the field, including 4-for-13 from 3-point range.

Cumberland plays again Saturday at Delta State and Sunday at North Alabama, both exhibition games for the Phoenix, before heading to 25th-ranked Martin Methodist next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.