Cumberland snaps skid with 71-68 thriller
Monday, November 29, 2010
Cumberland snaps skid with 71-68 thriller
Lindal Yarbrough scored 20 points in CU's win over Talladega.

LEBANON, Tenn.Lindal Yarbrough and Walter Simon took over the second half of Cumberland University’s rematch against Talladega College, scoring 18 and 15 points, respectively, after the break and Yarbrough blocked a potential game-tying 3-pointer with six seconds remaining in the contest as the Bulldogs held on to avenge a loss to the Tornadoes with a 71-68 triumph Monday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.


A week and a half ago, it was CU (3-5) that was on the short end of a three-point decision at Talladega when Kyle Upton’s 3-point attempt with two seconds left was off the mark.


In a game that featured six ties and a dozen lead changes, including one with 43 seconds left on the second-half clock when Yarbrough made the first of two free throws. CU, which snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory, was never able to extend the gap any further than four points after battling back from 11 early in the second half.


Trailing by eight at the break, Cumberland got buckets from Yarbrough and Walter Simon and allowed just a free throw in the first minute to cut the deficit to five. From there the visitors used a pair of treys and two free throws to push the lead out to 11 as CU missed four shots and managed just a layup from Yarbrough over the next 2 1/2 minutes.


Talladega led by 11 as late as 14:51 before a 7-0 Bulldog run in just over two minutes closed the gap. CU kept playing catch-up until the 5:19 mark when a Simon jumper gave the home team the lead for the first time since the Bulldogs were up 14-13.


The back-and-forth affair began with eight of the 12 lead changes coming in the next 4 1/2 minutes.


After Simon put Cumberland on top with 1:14 remaining, Donjarves Brown made a free throw to knot the game at 68 apiece. The Talladega forward’s second shot from the charity stripe as Josh Pierce pulled down the rebound and got it to Yarbrough, who was fouled. The redshirt senior’s first shot put CU on top for good, but his second was no good.


Cumberland dodged a bullet when Tarium Taylor missed a go-ahead layup with 20 seconds left. Yarbrough grabbed the carom and tossed it ahead to Haris Batalevic who was streaking up the court. The Doboj, Bosnia, native dropped it in for an easy two and a three-point lead for the Bulldogs with 10 ticks on the clock.


On the ensuing possession, Talladega got the ball in the hands of Taylor in the right corner, but Yarbrough was in his face and got his second block of the season. Pierce snagged the rebound and was fouled with the chance to put the nail in the coffin. Both of the junior’s free throws were off the mark, leaving the Tornadoes to throw up a desperation shot at the buzzer that didn’t come close.


Yarbrough’s point total led all scorers, while Simon missed a double-double by one rebound. Kyle Upton contributed 16 points, while Lamar Brinkley snagged 13 boards.


The Bulldogs will be off until December 14 when they travel to Kentucky Wesleyan in their last contest of the calendar year.