Bulldogs fall to AUM
Thursday, March 19, 2009
LEBANON, Tenn. – Jamar Finley scored 16 points and Kenneth Simms added 15 points and 11 rebounds, but 17th-ranked Auburn-Montgomery got 24 points from Quadavious Brown and pulled away in the second half for a 72-62 victory over 20th-ranked Cumberland late Wednesday night in the opening round of the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship in Kansas City, Mo.
Cumberland was down one at the half and trailed 54-52 with 8:03 remaining in the contest after a pair of Finley free throws, but the Bulldogs posted just two points over the next five minutes, a Finley field goal with 6:04 left. By the time Rontreal Braxton went to the foul line with 2:57 to play, CU found themselves behind 64-54.
Brown was a one-man wrecking crew for the Senators to start the second half, scoring 12 of the team’s first 13 points. He netted 14 of his 24 points after intermission, while Ronnie Johnson added 19 points in the victory for AUM, including six in the final three minutes.
Cumberland shot just 39 percent from the floor in the contest. CU’s work at the foul line was not terrible, with the club making 14-of-23, but the squad had some costly misses in the second half, including two from Mario Stowers, a missed front end of a 1-and-1 by Finley and 1-of-2 in the final two minutes by both Quentin Turner and Brandon Springer.
AUM on the other hand was tremendous at the charity stripe, knocking down 27-of-34, including 6-of-8 in the final two minutes.
The Bulldogs shot miserably from the field in the first half, scoring just five points in the first six minutes of the contest. CU trailed by as many as eight in the opening period but put together a 20-7 run over a 10-minute span to take a 32-25 edge late in the half. But AUM responded by scoring nine of the final 10 points in the period for a 34-33 edge at the break.
Finley kept his club in the game in the early going, netting eight of the team’s first 12 points. Simms scored six points during the 20-7 spurt, while Brandon Powell posted the last five of the stretch. AUM went more than four minutes without a point during the run, helping the Bulldogs get back in the game.
Cumberland ends its season 25-6 overall after playing in its third NAIA National Tournament in the last six seasons and second in a row. Seven seniors played their final game for the Bulldogs, including Simms, Stowers, Braxton, Turner, Thomas Douglas, Rodney James and Channing Tucker.