January 07, 20131st2ndFinal
#17 Bethel Univ.434588
Cumberland Univ.433578
Stats at a GlanceBETH-MCU-M
FG Percentage.579 (33-57) .431 (25-58)
3P FG Percentage.143 (1-7) .423 (11-26)
FT Percentage.700 (21-30) .773 (17-22)
Offensive Rebounds136
Defensive Rebounds3017
Total Rebounds4323
Turnovers1814
Steals67
Bench Points2124
LeadersBETH-MCU-M
PointsHardy - 25
Holt - 29
ReboundsMoore - 14
Holt - 9
AssistsHardy - 4
Blackmon - 3
Stripling - 3
Towns - 3
StealsPalmer - 2
McFadden - 2
BlocksGude - 1
Holt - 1
Bethel pulls away late for 88-78 win
Monday, January 7, 2013
Bethel pulls away late for 88-78 win
Creshaun Holt posted 29 points and nine rebounds in CU's 88-78 loss Monday against Bethel. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland did not score a field goal for almost six minutes in the second half, allowing 17th-ranked Bethel University to take the lead for good and pull away in an 88-78 victory over the Bulldogs in men’s basketball action here Monday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

The Bulldogs (6-8) lost for the sixth time this season by 10 points or less, leading for almost the entire first half and most of the second period before scoring just five points over the six-minute span. The Wildcats (15-2) put together a 13-5 run during the drought, taking their first lead since the 16:34 mark of the first half on a layup by Josh Swing with 8:14 remaining.

Caleb Hardy hit four free throws and a field goal during the 13-5 stretch, as the Bulldogs were 0-for-7 with two turnovers. Even with all of those struggles, CU trailed just 77-76 with 3:54 remaining, but Bethel ended the game with a 10-1 run. BU made its last 10 shots from the field over the final 11:41 of the game and also hit 10-of-14 free throws, taking control of the contest en route to the club’s third consecutive win.

Creshaun Holt had a career night in the loss for Cumberland, posting 29 points and nine rebounds and hitting 11-of-18 shots. E.J. Perry was the only other Bulldog in double figures with 10 points, but he made just 2-of-6 from the field, 1-for-6 from behind the arc.

The Bulldogs started the game 7-of-8 from 3-point range but then hit just 4-of-18 the rest of the contest. Bethel also dominated the glass, outrebounding CU, 43-23, scoring 13 second-chance points and 36 points in the paint. Cumberland stayed in the game by recording 29 points off 19 Bethel turnovers.

Hardy netted a team-best 25 points for the Wildcats and added four rebounds and four assists. Darnell Moore posted 22 points and 14 boards, George Coleman had 15 and Jarvis Palmer registered 10 points off the bench.

Brian Blackmon hit the first of nine first-half 3-pointers for the Bulldogs to give CU a 7-5 edge in the early going, but the Wildcats netted the next six points for a four-point advantage. Cumberland responded with a 16-2 spurt, with Daniel McFadden knocking down a pair of trifectas and Perry and Holt each hitting one 3-pointer and adding another bucket.

The Bulldogs led 31-21 after another 3-pointer, this one by Jerret Towns, with 8:37 left in the period and led by seven before the Wildcats ended the half on a 9-2 run. Moore hit a pair of free throws and a jumper, Hardy added two foul shots and Coleman was fouled on his jump shot, completing the three-point play and knotting the contest at 43 at the break.

Cumberland hits the road this week for games at UVA-Wise and the University of Pikeville on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. The Bulldogs return home January24 to face Pikeville at 8 p.m.