Last-second heroics fall just short
LEBANON, Tenn. – Walter Simon’s jumper with four seconds remaining was ruled a two-pointer and Lamar Brinkley’s 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out, giving Talladega College a 69-68 victory over Cumberland Wednesday night in men’s basketball action at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Bulldogs (1-4) erased a seven-point deficit and tied the game at 64 with 3:39 remaining on a Brinkley layup off an inbounds play. Phil Wood made one free throw for the Tornadoes and Kiwan Smith added a layup for a 67-64 advantage for the Tornadoes (4-1).
Simon’s putback with 1:25 left in the game cut the deficit to one again, but a Smith dunk after 26 seconds remaining pushed the lead back to three for Talladega. Cumberland had three chances after a timeout with 18 seconds left, the first by Brinkley, then a 3-pointer from Brandon Springer. The long rebound came to Simon, who tried to step back and hit a 3-pointer, but his right foot was on the line.
Talladega tried a baseball pass on the inbounds that was stolen by Adrian Williamson, who dribbled up-court and found Brinkley at the top of the key for the final shot, but it hit the left side of the rim and the Tornadoes escaped with the victory.
Springer had another superb outing in a loss, netting 30 points with 11 rebounds, but the senior did not score over the final 5:34 of the game after hitting CU’s only 3-pointer of the contest. The Nashville, Tenn., native added six assists in 32 minutes of action and has now posted 105 points and 45 rebounds in the last four games, all double-doubles, on 44-of-59 shooting.
Simon enjoyed his best game of the year, scoring 15 points with five rebounds, while Williamson added 10 points for the Bulldogs. Brinkley grabbed nine rebounds as well.
Wood and Kerry Harvis both netted 17 points for the Tornadoes, Harvis knocking down five of Talladega’s nine 3-pointers in the game. Ramondo Banks added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bulldogs jumped out quickly in the game, taking a 21-9 lead with 11:40 left in the first half. Springer scored 10 points and Simon added seven during the run.
But the Tornadoes slowly cut into the deficit and took a 32-30 advantage with 2:30 remaining in the period after a Chris Malone 3-pointer. Wood scored 11 points and Banks added six during the stretch. Smith’s monster alley-hoop dunk with 1:27 remaining gave Talladega a 35-32 lead at intermission.
Cumberland plays St. Catharine College in the Andrew Elswick Memorial Tournament Friday at Georgetown, Ky. The Bulldogs will play either host Georgetown College or Evangel Univ. Saturday.