January 25, 20201st2ndFinal
Life University383371
Cumberland University393574
Stats at a GlanceLIFECU
FG Percentage.520 (26-50) .531 (26-49)
3P FG Percentage.429 (9-21) .444 (8-18)
FT Percentage.833 (10-12) .933 (14-15)
Offensive Rebounds57
Defensive Rebounds1620
Total Rebounds2127
Bench Points718
PointsJeremy Joyner - 17
Brandon Levier - 19
Jalen Duke - 19
ReboundsAntwan Maxwell - 5
Mike White - 5
Jaylen Negron - 7
AssistsJordan Hernandez - 1
Connor Gamble - 1
Tory Ferguson - 1
Antwan Maxwell - 1
Cam Horton - 1
Jeremy Joyner - 1
TJ Stargell - 3
Jalen Duke - 3
StealsCam Horton - 3
Brandon Levier - 3
BlocksJeremy Joyner - 1
Phoenix win a nail biter at home, 74-71
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Phoenix win a nail biter at home, 74-71
Brandon Levier had a career-high 19 points in the win over Life. (Credit: BJ Nelson)

LEBANON, Tenn.-  Cumberland made big plays down the stretch to retake the lead with just over two minutes left and hold on to until the final buzzer, 74-71.

Cumberland (12-9, 3-5 MSC) and Life had very similar stat lines as Cumberland shot 53% from the field and Life shot 52% and CU shot 44% from three and the Running Eagles shot 42%. Cumberland turned the ball over one less time and went 14-15 from the line.

Brandon Levier posted 19 points tonight for a career-high from the junior. He went 8-10 from the field and picked three steals including a big one with less than a minute left.  Jalen Duke went 7-11 from the field for 19 points and Aaron Ridley picked up 12 points. Heath Starkey also posted a career-high in points with 10 points on 4-8 shooting.

Life had three players reach double-digit figures. Jeremy Joyner led the way with 17 points on 6-6 shooting. Antwan Maxwell registered 16 points and five boards and Connor Gamble made three three pointers for 12 points.

Davis scored first for the Phoenix with an up and under lay up and Anthony Maxwell answered for Life with a jumper down low. Levier pulled up from the middle of the paint for two points, but Hernandez hit a three from the left wing. Ridley gave it right back to Life with a three of his own from the right wing. Duke hit a turnaround jumper from mid range as Life and CU started off going back and forth with each other, Phoenix up 9-7 with 15:19 left in the first half.

Duke went right back down and hit a jumper from the elbow and Maxwell pulled a three from the right wing. Life finally got a stop on the defensive end, but could not capitalize. Horton picked off a pass from Ridley and went all the way for a dunk. Mike White came up with a turnover and a fastbreak layup. Ridley drew a foul from beyond the arc for the three hitting all three to tie it at 14-14.

Starkey used his size for an easy jump hook over the defender for two points and Ridley dished it out to Negron for a three forcing Life into a timeout, Cumberland up 20-14 with 8:49 left in the first half.

Ferguson took a deep three out of the timeout and Ridley went right back at them with a deep three off the left wing. Joyner drew a foul down low and somehow found a way to put the ball in the basket, but missed the free throw. Duke got his defender off his feet with a headfake and side stepped into an open three, but Horton was able to respond with a three for Life. Duke pulled up from the free throw line for a two pointer. Joyner answered with a putback and Levier buried a jumper from the baseline, but Maxwell did the same for Life on their own side. Horton came up with a steal and a fastbreak layup, Cumberland leads 30-30 with 3:20 left.

Starkey hit two free throws to regain the lead. Levier stepped into a three from the right wing to push it out to five point run. Life’s Hernandez hit a 20 foot two pointer. Gamble hit a three from the right corner for the Eagles and was fouled converting the and one. Levier was able to punch the ball out of the Life’s defender’s hands and have it fall in for two points. Joyner was fouled by Starkey in the paint and hit both of his free throws for the final points of the first half, CU up 39-38.

Levier scored first in the second half for the Phoenix and Davis came up with a loose ball and two points forcing Life into an early second half timeout. Gamble once again hit a deep three out of the timeout for Life. Starkey smacked out a rebound to Levier and he drove and hit a jumper from the paint. Levier once again hit a jumper in the paint, Phoeinx up 47-45 with 15:08.

Starkey again went back to the jump hook for two and Levier caused a turnover on the inbound, but CU could not capitalize. Ferguson took a deep three to make it a one point game and Starkey nailed a jumper from the free throw line as this game continues to go back and forth.

Stargell pulled up from three for his first point of the game. White was able to get a tough shot to fall while getting fouled by Ridley. He added the extra for Life to take the lead, 55-54 with 8:59 to go.

Starkey brought the house down with a big two handed slam, but Ferguson hit a deep three and Life found Joyner down low for a big slam of their own. Duke got a three to fall from the left corner and Stargell drew Duke’s defender the next time down giving him a wide open three, CU up 64-61 with 5:37 to play.

Gamble tied the game with another three and both teams traded buckets. Maxwell converted an and one for the Running Eagles. Levier made a deep two fall after taking a high bounce off the back iron. Duke backed down his defender for a two pointer and Levier picked Joyner’s pocket while he was trying to direct traffic. Life fouled him on his way to the basket and he hit both free throws. The Running Eagles scrambling as the clock winded down found Joyner who hit a tough contested shot down low.

Running Eagles scrambling to foul finally gets Stargell with 12 seconds left and Stargell hit both of them to put CU up by three. Cumberland was able to hold off Life’s last chance as Gamble missed the three short, 74-71.

Cumberland travels to Columbia, Kentucky to take on Lindsey Wilson next Thursday at 8 p.m.