LEBANON -- Three Bulldogs scored in double figures, including Brandon Springer, who notched his sixth straight double-double, as Cumberland University handed No. 18 Union University its first TranSouth Conference loss with a 71-54 decision Thursday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
After Cumberland (7-12, 4-2) controlled the opening tip, Walter Simon gave the home team a 2-0 lead, which it would never relinquish. Union (14-6, 5-1) forced two ties early, but Springer scored seven straight points and Adam Barnett made a jumper in the lane to put the Cumberland lead at nine.
Union got back to within one on two occasions before the break, but an 11-2 spurt by CU, which ended when Springer picked Greg Truvillion’s pocket and took the ball the length of the floor for a layup, gave Cumberland its first double-digit lead.
Union came out of the locker room and scored four straight to cut the CU lead to six, but UU wouldn’t get any closer as Cumberland steadily built upon its lead. Barnett nailed a 3-pointer with 4:43 remaining, snapping an 0-for-17 drought from downtown, to put CU on top 57-45.
The double-double was the 14th of the year for Springer as the nation’s leading scorer totaled 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs in both categories.
Lamar Brinkley contributed 16 points, going 6-for-7 from the field, while Lindal Yarbrough, playing in just his fourth game for CU after transferring from Middle Tennessee State University, scored 11, reaching double digits for the third time.
Truvillion, who scored 19 of Union’s 27 first-half points, fouled out with 3:12 left in the game, finishing with 27 points, which led all scorers.
In Thursday's opener -- the Cumberland women battled back from 16 down in the first half, only to fall just short in a 69-63 defeat against top-ranked Union.
Cumberland (7-8, 1-5 TranSouth) fell behind 30-14 in the first half but closed the gap with an 11-2 run late in the period and trailed just 37-31 at the break. The Lady Bulldogs reeled off 10 straight points in the first four minutes of the second half to take their first lead at 43-41, capped by a 3-pointer from Brittany Cash.
Cumberland had contributions for several players, Keshia Brown leading four double figure scorers with 15 points. Cash added 13 points, nine in the second half, while Tamara Gonzalez scored 12 points and Bailey netted 11. Freshman Joy Ford also registered six points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes of action, her best game of the year.
Cumberland returns to action Saturday when the Bulldogs entertain Martin Methodist. Women's game will tip at 2 p.m.
FCA DAY -- Cumberland University’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes Day will be celebrated Saturday, Jan. 23 as the Bulldog basketball teams host Martin Methodist in a 2 p.m. TSAC doubleheader. Anyone wearing an FCA t-shirt will be admitted free of charge. Former Tennessee Titans tackle Mike Jones will speak at an FCA-sponsored fifth quarter.