January 05, 20191st2ndFinal
Lindsey Wilson383270
Cumberland University364177
Stats at a GlanceLWC-MCU
FG Percentage.400 (22-55) .412 (28-68)
3P FG Percentage.364 (8-22) .261 (6-23)
FT Percentage.900 (18-20) .833 (15-18)
Offensive Rebounds615
Defensive Rebounds2828
Total Rebounds3443
Turnovers1311
Steals75
Bench Points125
LeadersLWC-MCU
PointsStotts - 21
Chester - 24
ReboundsDeneus - 9
Eldridge - 9
Chester - 10
AssistsCundiff - 2
Powell - 3
Rogan - 3
StealsAdams - 2
Lys - 2
Rogan - 3
BlocksEldridge - 3
Powell - 1
Second-half spurt carries CU men in MSC opener
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Second-half spurt carries CU men in MSC opener
Tranard Chester posted career-high with 24 points and 10 rebounds in CU's 77-70 win Saturday over Lindsey Wilson. (Credit Coy Gill)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Tranard Chester posted career-highs with 24 points and 10 rebounds and Cumberland used a 15-1 run in the second half to take control in a77-70 victory over Lindsey Wilson in men’s basketball action here Saturday at Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena.

The Phoenix (7-4, 1-0 Mid-South) won their conference opener for the first time since 2013-14 thanks to four players in double figures and execution down the stretch. Cumberland outscored the Blue Raiders, 33-18, over the final 12 minutes of the game, including 16-9 in the last five minutes before a 3-pointer at the buzzer by LWC.

Chester recorded 18 points in the second half, taking over for a stretch while Ty Sean Powell and Andrew Rogan both sat on the bench with four fouls. The senior netted nine points over a five-minute stretch, the final bucket a short jumper in the lane to put the Phoenix ahead, 67-59, with 2:42 remaining.

Cumberland then made 8-of-11 at the foul line in the final 90 seconds and iced the game with an old-fashioned 3-point play from Asher Blum with 14.8 seconds remaining.

Powell finished with 17 points and nine rebounds while Deiontay Walters recorded 18 points, 11 of those in the first half. Rogan added 10 points, seven boards, three assists and three steals, as the Cumberland starters accounted for 69 of the team’s 77 points.

Lindsey Wilson (8-7, 0-1) led 38-36 at the half and put together a 10-0 spurt over a four-minute stretch in the middle of the second period. Matthew Eldridge hit a 3-pointer and made a layup before a basket by Shakaris Laney and then a triple from Pierre Lys for a 52-44 LWC advantage with 11:51 to play. CU missed six straight shots during the stretch before a putback from Chester ended the drought.

That also started a 15-1 run for the Phoenix over the next five minutes, as the Blue Raiders did not make a field goal for almost seven minutes, missing four shots and committing three turnovers.

Chester followed his putback with a 3-pointer and Isaac Stephens posted a layup before another triple by Chester, his only two trifectas of the contest. The second 3-pointer put Cumberland in front for good, 54-53.

Powell’s crazy tip-in after a missed Walters shot extended the spurt and Walters finished the stretch with an old-fashioned 3-point play, absorbing the harm and hanging to hit the shot and the free throw for a 59-53 CU advantage with 6:10 to play.

Jalon Perry’s triple with just over five minutes remaining ended the field goal drought for the Blue Raiders, cutting the CU lead to three, but Chester connected on two free throws and Powell made a short hook in the lane, stretching the edge to seven. LWC never got closer than six the rest of the way.

Kel Stotts led Lindsey Wilson with 21 points, including 18 in the first half. Eldridge finished with 13 points and nine rebounds while Laney and Lys each posted 10 points.

Powell’s 3-pointer, his first career make from behind the arc, five minutes into the first half started an 8-0 spurt for the Phoenix. Powell’s layup and an old-fashioned 3-point play from Walters put CU ahead, 13-6.

Stotts answered with a triple for the Blue Raiders, but Walters and Blum netted field goals for Cumberland for a 17-9 advantage. Stotts drilled another 3-pointer before an old-fashioned 3-point play by Rogan put CU in front, 20-12. The Phoenix made 8-of-15 shots from the field with two 3-pointers in the first eight minutes compared to 5-for-13 for LWC.

Cumberland connected on just 2-of-12 field goals over the next six minutes, though, and the Blue Raiders took advantage. J.R. Adams connected on a triple, starting a 12-4 spurt by the visitors.

Stotts was fouled on a 3-point attempt, knocking down all three shots at the foul line, and Eldridge added two free throws . Can Oztamur’s tip-in knotted the contest at 24 at the six-minute mark.

Stotts’ layup and a basket plus the foul by Lys were part of five straight points for the Blue Raiders, giving LWC a 33-28 edge. Stotts drilled another 3-pointer with a minute left in the period, but Walters nailed a triple from the left corner just before the halftime buzzer, cutting the Lindsey Wilson advantage to 38-36 at intermission.

Stotts scored 18 points for LWC, hitting 5-of-6 from the field with three 3-pointers and making all five free throw attempts. No other Blue Raider had more than five points. Walters paced the Phoenix with 11 points and Rogan collected 10, but Cumberland connected on 4-of-15 from behind the arc in the period.

Cumberland hosts Fisk University on Monday at 6 p.m. before heading to seventh-ranked Campbellsville on Thursday in the team’s first road conference game.