LEBANON, Tenn. – Lamar Brinkley posted a double-double and four other Cumberland University players scored in double figures as the Bulldogs used a great day at the free throw line to cruise past Mid-Continent University Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center, taking a 68-50 victory over the TranSouth Conference foe.
With the win, the Bulldogs (11-9, 5-3 TranSouth) remained perfect at home this year through eight contests.
Walter Simon led the way for CU with a dozen points, while Lindal Yarbrough and Josh Pierce both contributed 11 points. Michael Sweat and Brinkley, who tied a career-high with 13 rebounds, both had 10. The double-double was the first of the year for the Whites Creek High School product, who now has three for his career. Brinkley earned Music City Star of the Game for his efforts.
Cumberland shot a season-high 80 percent from the charity stripe, converting 28 of their 35 attempts. Simon was a perfect 8-for-8, while Upton went 7-for-8 and Pierce made 6-of-8.
After Mid-Continent took its only lead of the game with a 7-0 spurt, Cumberland answered with a 14-2 stretch that included eight free throws – four from both Kyle Upton and Walter Simon. The final points of the run came at 8:12 when Lindal Yarbrough swiped the ball from the Cougars and took it the length of the floor for a layup, putting CU on top 25-17.
Following Yarbrough’s basket, Cumberland didn’t score for more than five minutes and managed just three more points.
Over the final eight minutes of the half, CU shot 1-of-8 and turned the ball over nine times, while Mid-Continent added a trio of free throws and a 3-pointer. MCU had just two field goals in the final 12:41.
The Cougars (9-13, 2-6) trailed 28-23 at halftime but cut the deficit to a single point with 15:39 to play before Pierce started a 13-0 Bulldog run with a trey. The stretch, which was part of an even bigger 19-1 span, was capped by Haris Batalavic’s only 3-pointer of the contest.
Cumberland outrebounded the Cougars 47-25 with much of the work coming on the MCU side of the court. The Bulldogs grabbed 36 defensive rebounds and allowed just eight offensive boards.
Mid-Continent’s Chris Ferguson also notched a double-double with a dozen points and 10 boards. MCU made just 8-of-20 free throws.
Cumberland makes the long trip to Batesville, Ark., next Thursday to take on Lyon College at 8 p.m. The Bulldogs downed LC, 80-73, at home on January 6.