'Dogs survive at TNU, 76-75
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Cumberland earned its stripes, literally, making 8-of-13 over the final six minutes, as the seventh-ranked Bulldogs survived a furious comeback by Trevecca, defeating the Trojans, 76-75, Saturday at Moore Gym in the first of two meetings this season between the rivals.
Cumberland (17-2, 7-1 TSAC) led by as many as 14 points early in the second half and kept Trevecca at bay for most of the half. The Trojans pulled as close as 44-36 with 14:13 remaining after an old-fashioned 3-point play from DeJon Everson.
CU pushed the advantage back to double figures and Trevecca could not pull closer than nine. Quentin Turner’s field goal with 6:14 left in the contest gave the Bulldogs a 66-50 advantage and seeming control of the contest.
But the Trojans mounted a huge comeback over the final minutes, sparked by Michael France, who did not play in the first half and did not enter the game until the final 10 minutes.
TNU put together a 25-10 run to end the game, with France contributing eight of 10 of his points. Brian Oduor scored a game-high 29 points, including eight during the final stretch, and Christopher Harris added seven.
But CU hit its foul shots down the stretch, none bigger than Rontreal Braxton’s two with 46 seconds remaining and the Bulldogs clinging to a 71-69 lead. Turner hit two more with 22 seconds left and then Brandon Powell added one foul shot with nine seconds remaining.
Matthew Elliott’s pressured 3-pointer was no good with three seconds left and Oduor’s final basket at the horn was all for naught, as the Bulldogs escaped with the victory.
Braxton scored 21 points for Cumberland, while Turner added nine, including 5-of-6 at the charity stripe. Kenneth Simms had one of his best games of the season with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Powell netted 12 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.
Elliott scored 14 points for the Trojans and Harris had 10. Oduor also grabbed a game-high nine boards for TNU.
Cumberland used a 14-6 run to close the half and take a 39-25 advantage into intermission. With the Bulldogs leading 25-19, Jamar Finley had a putback jumper before hitting a jumper. Rodney James then had a putback and Powell knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing.
Finley added a long jumper from the corner before Powell hit a deep 3-pointer with three seconds left in the half to give the Bulldogs the 14-point halftime lead.
Simms was a major factor for CU in the opening half, scoring eight points, and Braxton netted a dozen for the Bulldogs. Oduor scored 14 of Trevecca’s 25 points in the period, including making 6-of-7 free throws.
Cumberland plays at Blue Mountain Thursday at 8 p.m. and Freed-Hardeman next Saturday at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs return home Saturday, February 7 versus Mid-Continent University.