LEBANON -- Brandon Powell scored 15 points, leading four double-figure scorers, and 7th-ranked Cumberland staved off a big comeback by Martin Methodist, 69-56, Thursday nigt in men’s basketball action at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Bulldogs (16-2, 6-1 TSAC) led almost from the opening tip and stretched their lead to as many as 19 points early in the second half. But Martin Methodist made a furious comeback and got as close as six after an Everett Bills 3-pointer with 4:30 remaining in the contest.
With Cumberland leading 53-38 with 10:20 remaining in the contest, Martin Methodist produced a 13-4 run to cut the CU lead to just six. Five players scored during the stretch, with Will Shackleford netting four and Bills’ 3-pointer ending the spurt.
CU answered with seven consecutive points, a jumper from Powell, a one-plus-one from Quentin Turner, another foul shot by Powell and then a dunk from Powell on a lob from Turner to extend the lead back to 13.
Powell hit a trio of 3-pointers and the Bulldogs knocked down eight trifectas in the contest. Brandon Springer posted 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Jamar Finley added 13 points, including 10 in the first half. Turner registered 10 points.
Julius Virgo led the Redhawks (15-5, 4-4) with 12 points, while Aubre Bodison netted 11 and Bills had 10.
MMC’s Jamar Naylor lost the ball driving down the lane and Brandon Powell beat his man to the ball. Powell and Braxton played a two-man game heading down the court, with Braxton sending home a one-handed jam for a 13-5 CU lead in the early-going.
Powell added a pair of 3-pointers to the two trips for the Bulldogs and Jamar Finley continued the 3-point barrage, knocking down a pair in the half and netting 10 points before the break. CU pushed its advantage to as many as 16 on a Finley jumper with 2:19 remaining before intermission and led 41-25 at the break.
Cumberland begins a four-game road swing Saturday at rival Trevecca at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs return home Saturday, February 7 versus Mid-Continent University.
WOMEN’S ACTION THURSDAY found Martin Methodist putting together an 11-2 run early in the second half for the Redhawks in a 79-66 victory over Cumberland.
Martin Methodist (13-5, 4-4 TSAC) led 35-30 at the half and the teams traded baskets in the opening seconds of the second period. The Redhawks then reeled off an 11-2 spurt, with Lauran Hudgins scoring four points and Pendergrast adding five, including a 3-pointer to end the run for a 48-34 advantage with 16:02 remaining.
Cumberland (6-14, 2-5) cut into the deficit on several occasions but could never get closer than eight points the rest of the way. For the third straight game the Bulldogs struggled from the field in the second half, hitting just 12-of-37 after intermission. In the last three contests CU is just 28-for-104 (27 percent) from the floor in the second half.
Chaquaila Gaten had a tough night for CU, making only 7-of-20 shots but finishing with a team-high 19 points. Simone Ryan added 18 points and six rebounds, while Angie Wells netted 10 points and Brittany Cash posted seven points and a team-best nine rebounds.