LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland battled back from a 16-0 deficit to start the game but the Bulldogs shot just 30 percent in the contest, dropping a 53-47 decision to 13th-ranked Dalton State in the Roadrunner Club Classic on Friday night in Dalton, Ga.
Josh Wilkerson was the only player in double figures for the Bulldogs (5-9), hitting three of the club’s four attempts (4-for-20) from 3-point range, all in the first half. Dalton State (10-1) shot exactly 30 percent from the field just like CU and made just 1-of-20 from behind the arc as well.
The Roadrunners scored the first 16 points of the game and led 18-2 on a bucket by Jordan Bowling with 9:43 to play in the opening half. Cumberland missed its first nine shots and committed seven turnovers before Marquel Hickerson’s field goal with 11:14 remaining in the period.
The Bulldogs cut into the deficit with a 13-4 spurt started on Hickerson’s basket and he added a 3-pointer before a bucket from DeMario Frazier. Consecutive trifectas by Wilkerson made it 20-13 Dalton State with 7:04 left before intermission.
CU ended the half on a 9-3 run as well, with DeQuan Bond scoring all six of his points in the game in the final 3:02 of the period and Wilkerson adding his third 3-pointer, cutting the deficit to 26-23 at the break.
Dalton State never relinquished the lead in the game, but Hickerson’s bucket at the 15:17 mark pulled CU within 32-30 and Jarrod Gaston’s field goal with 11:17 remaining made it a one-point game. The Roadrunners responded with an 11-1 spurt over the next five minutes, essentially putting the game away.
Bowling answered Gaston’s basket with a 3-pointer and he added two more field goals before the final four points of the run were scored by Sean Tate and Ladaris Green, giving DSC a 46-35 advantage with 6:37 remaining.
Cumberland came right back, netting the next six points, with field goals from Wilkerson and Moritz Dern and free throws by Frazier and Gaston, cutting the deficit to five with 2:56 left, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get the rest of the way.
Hickerson finished with nine points and Frazier led the club with six rebounds.
Bowling paced the Roadrunners with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Green grabbed 15 boards while Tate finished with 12 points.
Cumberland plays Concordia University-Selma at 1 p.m. Saturday to finish the tournament.