|Stats at a Glance||CU||AU|
|FG Percentage||.554 (31-56)||.464 (26-56)|
|3P FG Percentage||.421 (8-19)||.444 (12-27)|
|FT Percentage||.833 (15-18)||.792 (19-24)|
- 22||Leander Ridgeway
Jalen Duke - 7
Drew Delatte - 8
Jalen Duke - 5
- 3||Leander Ridgeway
WILMORE, Ky.--Jalen Duke put up his second-straight 20+ point game and Isaac Stephens hit a clutch shot in the final second to help the Phoenix pull through for a close 85-83 win at Asbury University tonight.
Cumberland (6-3) played through some mistakes and a storm of Asbury (5-3) threes, the Eagles shooting 12-of-27 from deep, winning the team’s first true road game of the season.
Duke again led the Phoenix offensive effort with 22, most of his success coming from deep (4-of-5) and also chipped in a tie for team lead in rebounds with seven. TJ Stargell had one of his best offensive performances of the season, posting 18 points while also playing very aggressively on the defensive end, grabbing two steals. James Nicholas had a strong game from three, hitting 3-of-5 for 14 total points/ Demari Davis was the final Cumberland player to break into double digits, putting in a workmanlike performance with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Asbury’s offensive effort was in large part due to the team’s effort from behind the arc, so it should come as no surprise that out of the three players that hit double digit scoring ,they combined for 11-of-17 from three. Leadner Ridgeway led all players with 24 points and eight rebounds, and fellow starting guard Eric Powell posted 21 points of his own. Caleb Bonny came off the bench, supplying 12 points to the Eagle effort.
Duke continued from where he left off the last game with a dominant first half, kicking off scoring for the teams by cutting into the lane and laying up the first shot of the game. Asbury heavily relied on the deep shot the entire first half, but the early effort from deep while the Phoenix struggled with the same saw the Eagles take the lead. Isaac Stephens worked his man on the key before hitting a jumper to tie the game at 8-8.
Cumberland took the lead for good in the first half when Stargell’s oppressive defense turned into a steal for the young guard which he quickly turned into an easy layup, 12-11. Duke ended the shooting drought from behind the arc for the Phoenix, nailing a shot after Ridley did a good job getting the ball to the open man on the wing. Asher Blum drew Asbury fouls on back-to-back possessions, making 3-4 free-throws for a 27-18 lead. The Cumberland lead stretched to 12 points, 32-30, after defensive pressure caused an Eagle turnover which Nicholas turned into a jumper.
Asbury made a late push in the first half, cutting the Cumberland lead to 39-34 off a flurry of three pointers. Stargell charged into the paint and drew the foul, converting on the shots from the charity stripe to push the lead back up to two scores, 41-36. Another Asbury three cut the lead to one point, but another Nichols jumper in the paint saw Phoenix take 46-43 advantage into the half.
Stephens timed a pass well, getting it to Dukes as he streaked to the goal undefended to score in the first 20 seconds of the second half. Asbury took its first lead since very early at 47-46, the rest of the game playing out highly contested with constant ties and lead changes. Stargell had an excellent second half, stealing the ball and racing down the court for the bucket and 50-47 lead, before splashing home a three after he was unable to find a Cumberland player to pass the ball to, 54-50.
Blum hit a jumper just in front of the free-throw line to end a 9-0 Asbury run, the Eagles leading 59-56. The team’s continued trading leads, the Phoenix tying the game at 61-61 after Ridley facilitated the ball to Nicholas behind the arc, and then again 63-63 after Davis hit a shot down low. After not hitting a bucket since the first 20 seconds of the second half, Duke came alive at the end of the game, hitting a fade away from the right to take an 80-79 lead. On the next possession with less than two minutes remaining, Duke hit a massive three from the top for 83-79 advantage that Stargell kicked out to him after charging into the paint. The game was in the balance tied at 83-83 with six seconds remaining, but Stephens came through in the clutch, hitting a shot in the paint while falling away with 0.6 seconds remaining to give the Phoenix an 85-83 victory.
The Phoenix do not play again until November 26, facing Fisk University in the friendly confines of Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena at 8 p.m.