|October 26, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||CU||RUST|
|FG Percentage||.449 (31-69)||.424 (25-59)|
|3P FG Percentage||.211 (4-19)||.222 (4-18)|
|FT Percentage||.500 (7-14)||.733 (11-15)|
- 24||Terrell Jennings
- 7||Eligh Johnson
Brandon Levier - 4
- 2||Michael Decembre
- 1||Terrell Jennings
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- The Phoenix open their season with a win over Rust College tonight, sophomore Isaac Stephens building off the success he experienced last year in his first season of collegiate basketball.
Cumberland (1-0) hit 52.9% of its shots from the field in the first half, building a, 43-27, lead that the team would not relinquish despite Rust (0-1) trying to make a second half charge.
Three Phoenix players scored double digit points, Stephens leading all players by a wide-margin with 24 points on a gaudy 80% (12-15) shooting percentage from the floor. The sophomore also led all players with seven rebounds, four of them coming off of the offensive glass. Cumberland’s other high scorers were a pair of senior transfers that were playing in their first game at CU, Jalen Duke and DeMari Davis. Duke scored 16, nine of his points coming from behind the arc. Stephen’s running mate at the forward position, Davis, contributed 11 points and six rebounds.
Rust was led by Jordan Jackson and Terrell Jennings, posting up 15 and 17 points, respectively.
Jackson Jordan sunk a jumper for an early four point Rust lead, 12-8, but the Phoenix responded in a big way, going on a 14-0 run over the course of a nearly five minute stretch. Duke got the run started with a jumper in the paint before getting down the court after a rebound to pop a quick, transition three pointer. Besides smart play on the offensive side of the court, the team did a good job keeping Rust out of the paint or altering their shots.
The Phoenix’s suffocating defense blanking Rust for long stretches was a running theme of the half. Cumberland went on an 8-0 run after a Rust three-pointer cut the lead to 26-22. Rust cut the run at the 3:54 mark and did not make another shot from the floor in the half, going into the break, 43-27.
Cumberland maintained its double digit lead in the second half until a pair of Rust free throws cut the lead to 59-50. Another Duke three-pointer extended the lead back to 10 with just over two minutes remaining in the game. A Brandon Levier free throw to go up 73-65 with 20 seconds remaining in the game and solid defense iced the game in Cumberland’s favor.
The Phoenix are back in action tomorrow, facing Fisk in Nashville at 4 p.m.