CU ends regular season with loss
Saturday, February 27, 2010
LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland University couldn’t take advantage of a pair of missed free throws in the closing seconds of Saturday’s game against Mid-Continent at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center as the Cougars held on to win 63-60 on CU’s Senior Day.
After Brandon Springer, Cumberland’s only senior, made a layup to cut the Cougar lead to three with 8.7 seconds on the clock, the Bulldogs (11-16, 9-7 TranSouth Conference) fouled David Gratton. The Mid-Continent guard missed both shots from the charity stripe, but Donovan Willis snared the rebound and the Cougars (19-11, 12-5) were able to keep the ball moving as the final seconds ticked off the clock, keeping Cumberland from fouling again.
Springer led the Bulldogs with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Walter Simon, Lindal Yarbrough and Lamar Brinkley finished with 14, 12 and 11 points, respectively. Kenny Thomas posted a game-high 21 and Joshua Woodley added 17 for the Cougars.
MCU built a 10-point lead in the first half, using a 13-1 run after Cumberland had taken a 14-12 lead. The final points of the run came when Woodley, who was perfect from downtown in the contest, sank one of his four 3-pointers. Mid-Continent went 4-of-10 from behind the arc after hitting a dozen treys when the two teams met last Monday.
Cumberland came right back with a 13-2 span to go back up 28-27 at the half. Lindal Yarbrough scored six of the Bulldogs’ points during the stretch, including the last two free throws.
Coming out of the locker room, Woodley hit two more 3-pointers to give the Cougars the advantage again. The lead swapped hands one more time as Yarbrough tied the game at 36 apiece on a layup and knocked down 1-of-2 free throws on the next CU possession.
After Mid-Continent took the lead again Springer knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the contest at 46 with 9:03 to play. Cumberland couldn’t retake control and played catch-up until the final buzzer. The Bulldogs kept the game in reach down the stretch, never going down by more than two possessions.
The loss was the second straight for Cumberland, which hadn’t lost back-to-back games since dropping five straight from Nov. 18 through Dec. 5.
CU will travel to No. 23 Trevecca Nazarene to play a quarterfinal game in the TranSouth Championships. Cumberland split the regular season series with the Trojans, falling in Nashville to then-No. 14 TNU 74-67 and winning by 30 points at home earlier this month.