December 03, 20191st2ndFinal
Oakwood323365
Cumberland University305383
Stats at a GlanceOAKCU
FG Percentage.338 (22-65) .443 (27-61)
3P FG Percentage.286 (6-21) .318 (7-22)
FT Percentage.714 (15-21) .710 (22-31)
Offensive Rebounds1510
Defensive Rebounds3132
Total Rebounds4642
Turnovers1811
Steals410
Bench Points2111
LeadersOAKCU
PointsMarquise Hudson - 20
Jalen Duke - 22
ReboundsIll'yan Scott - 11
DeMari Davis - 8
AssistsMarquise Hudson - 3
Aaron Ridley - 3
StealsDesham Hotabah - 2
Aaron Ridley - 3
DeMari Davis - 3
BlocksIll'yan Scott - 3
Big Second half gives Cumberland 85-63 win
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Big Second half gives Cumberland 85-63 win
Jalen Duke threw down a massive dunk to erupt the CU bench and fans. (Credit: BJ Nelson)

EBNAON, Tenn.- Cumberland exploded offensively in the second half, four players scoring in double digits, pulling away for a 83-65 victory over Oakwood University in the team’s last game of 2019 in Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena.

The Phoenix (8-3) struggled mightily in the first half shooting 2-of-15 from three, but stepped up big time in the second half hitting 65.4% of all shots after the intermission. Cumberland did very well controlling the ball in tonight's match only committing 11 turnovers and forcing Oakwood in to foul trouble all game. 

Cumberland was led by senior Jalen Duke who registered a game-high 22 points include 4-of-5 from deep. Aaron Ridley posted 18 points and hit 8-of-10 free throw attempts. Point guard TJ Stargell 14 points and five rebounds and DeMari Davis picked up 11 points and was two boards shy of a double-double. Heath Starkey, in his first start of the year, collected seven points and two rebounds.

Oakwood (1-10) guard Marquise Hudson led the Ambassadors with 20 points. Hudson made his way to the charity stripe 12 times. Ill'yan Scott came off the bench for Oakwood to hit 8-of-13 shots and finish with 19 points and 11 rebounds, the only double-double of the game.

Cumberland trailed throughout the early portion of the first half, the team’s first points coming off the hands of TJ Stargell as the freshman hit a short range jumper on the second possession of the game. Duke followed that with a strong move towards the basket, drawing a foul on his shot for the old school three-pointer, hitting the jumper and the free throw as the Phoenix trailed 11-5.

The Phoenix made a run, pushing for a lead with 16:16 remaining in the half, going on a 13-0 run for an 18-13 lead, holding the Ambassadors scoreless for nearly four and a half minutes. The Phoenix took the lead 14-13 when Duke hit a shot from deep which he followed with two buckets from the charity stripe on the next possession to take the lead 14-13. Oakwood followed with a run of their own, taking the lead 22-20 on a three from the left wing as Cumberland seemed unable to buy a bucket.

Ridley hit what was only the second made three for the Phoenix in the first half despite attempting 15 shots to pull within two at 29-27 with just over two minutes remaining. The Ambassadors took a 32-30 advantage into the locker room.

CU came out of break looking to prove that they could hit a shot from deep, three of the first four made shots coming from behind the arc.

Duke splashed another three home this time from the right wing for 39-34 lead Oakwood left. Big man Heath Starkey alone deep in the right corner, so he showed them he could also be a threat from deep, hitting the shot for a 42-38 lead

Davis stole the ball and raced back to lay it in, drawing the foul. Ball bounced around the rim before falling. He completed three point play for 47-38 lead. Levier got his hand into a passing lane, forcing a turnover which he passed to a streaking Ridley who was fouled on his layup attempt, making both free throws 52-46

Stargell took ball from coast to coast, laying in a pretty ball for 59-48 lead. Stargell added six points over the course of only three minutes, as Phoenix started to express dominance late. Davis flushed home emphatic dunk for 65-52 lead after Oakwood made an errant pass while trying to keep the ball in play.

Levier drove from the left wing and made a wrap around pass to Jalen Duke three from right wing with Oakwood defender in his face, drawing the foul for a four point play 70-55. On the very next possession, Duke slams an absolutely massive dunk sending the bench and everyone in the stands into frenzy on a fast break. 

Kole Monson hits an acrobatic falling down for 79-63 lead with just over a minute left, as CU settled in the last few minutes for the 83-65 victory. Cumberland was very efficient in the second half on 17-of-26 shooting in the second half including 5-7 shooting from deep.

Cumberland begins conference play at Shawnee State in Portsmouth, Ohio on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT.