Halftime deficit too much for Bulldogs
Monday, January 3, 2011

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – Lamar Brinkley scored a season-high 16 points and two other Cumberland University players scored in double figures, but CU couldn’t overcome a 14-point halftime deficit as the Bulldogs fell to Bellevue University Monday in the McDonald’s Cam Jam Classic at Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks.


Graciano Negron totaled 13 points, while Walter Simon added a dozen points and eight board. Brinkley was one rebound shy of a double-double.


The Bruins used an 8-2 run to extend their lead to 20 points with four minutes gone in the second half before Cumberland (3-6) began a comeback that would fall short.


Trailing by 19 points with 13:01 to play, the Bulldogs scored 16 of the next 20 points in a 1:55 span to cut the deficit to seven. The run started when Trey Caruthers drove to the basket and was fouled on his layup. The former Harpeth High School standout’s free throw was good before CU began to press on defense.


A 3-pointer from top of the arc from Michael Sweat made it a 62-51 game and after a Bellevue basket, Caruthers and Negron closed out Cumberland’s run.


A turnover on Cumberland’s next possession ended the momentum that the Bulldogs had built up as CU wouldn’t get any closer than seven points. Cumberland finished the game with 17 turnovers.


CU outscored the Bruins 34-32 in the second half after trailing 41-27 at halftime.


The Bulldogs kept within striking distance early on in the first half despite missing five of their first seven shots and turning the ball over twice through the first six minutes. Cumberland took its final lead of the game at 8-6 on a Lindal Yarbrough basket before the Bruins’ Eugene Bain, who scored the first nine points for Bellevue and totaled 14 in the first half, completed a three-point play.


After BU pushed its lead to six, Cumberland made it a one possession game with back-to-back scores from Caruthers and Brinkley, who put up 10 points in the opening half.


However the Bruins used a 13-3 span to build a 12-point lead and kept the double-digit advantage at the intermission.


CU shot 40.3 percent, while Bellevue was 50 percent from the floor.


Cumberland faces the host Bobcats Tuesday at 3 p.m. in its final contest before beginning TranSouth play. The Bulldogs entertain Lyon College Thursday at 8 p.m.