Bulldogs bounce back with win over Bethel
LEBANON, Tenn. – Three Bulldogs scored in double figures and 11 players recorded at a basket in Cumberland University’s 80-60 win over TranSouth Conference foe Bethel University Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Cumberland (10-14, 7-5) jumped on the Wildcats (11-15, 3-9) early and often, scoring 23 of the first 29 points. The final nine points of the stretch were all tallied by Haris Batalevic including a layup following a steal on an inbounds play. Batalevic finished with 11 points, all of which came before the break.
The Bulldogs, who have won their last three home games and five of their last six, scored 15 points off of 15 Bethel turnovers in the first half.
A 10-2 run pushed the Cumberland lead to 23 – its largest of the half – with 4:45 remaining on the first-half clock.
The visitors put together their biggest run of the opening half, scoring five straight points with 19 ticks left, but Batalevic nailed a jumper on the Bulldogs’ final possession before intermission to put the home squad on top 41-22.
Cumberland continued to dominate early in the second half, recording the first seven points. The stretch was capped when Andrew Ayodeji swiped the ball from Dustin Ferguson and pushed it ahead to Lindal Yarbrough, who left it up for a trailing Brandon Springer. The Hunters Lane High School product finished the play with the alley-oop layup.
CU built a lead as large as 32 points with a seven-point spurt, which included a 3-pointer by Josh Pierce, and cruised to the victory, bouncing back from a 26-point loss to No. 10 Union University on Monday. Cumberland has not lost back-to-back games since dropping a pair at the Baisi Classic in Montgomery, W.Va., Dec. 4-5.
Springer paced the Bulldogs with 15 points, including 10 in the first half. Lindal Yarbrough totaled 10, while Adam Barnett and Andrew Ayodeji each contributed seven.
Cumberland travels to Martin Methodist on Saturday. The RedHawks downed CU 84-71 in the Cedar City on Jan. 23.