PORTSMOUTH, OH â€“ Freshman Marquel Hickerson finished with 29 points and eight rebounds, making five 3-pointers, and Cumberland connected on 17-of-22 at the foul line in a 74-48 victory over Shawnee State Saturday at Waller Gymnasium.
The Bulldogs (6-0, 2-0 Mid-South) used a 13-2 run in the first half to build a 17-point advantage and a 15-5 spurt at the beginning of the second half stretched the advantage to as many as 30 points after a monster dunk from freshman DeQuan Bond.
Hickerson finished 10-for-15 at the foul line and 5-of-7 from behind the arc and added the eight boards, three assists and five steals in 33 minutes. Cumberland knocked down nine trifectas in the contest.
Kenneth Stripling posted 11 points, three assists and three steals and Moritz Dern added 10 points, eight in the first half. Lester Gude recorded eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and four steals as well, with the Bulldogs handing out 14 assists and making 15 steals while committing just 12 turnovers.
Both teams started sloppy and the Bulldogs held a 10-7 edge at the first media timeout, but a 3-pointer from Josh Wilkerson and two trifectas by Hickerson were part of a 13-2 run that gave the visitors a 23-9 advantage midway through the period.
Cumberland stretched the lead to 17 with Hickersonâ€™s third 3-pointer of the half and Wilkersonâ€™s floater in the lane just before the buzzer sent CU to the locker room with a 38-21 advantage.
The Bulldogs shot 56 percent from the field in the half, including 7-of-13 from behind the arc. Hickerson netted 13 points and Wilkerson and Dern each added eight off the bench. Dern had a tip-in off a free throw miss by Wilkerson and nailed a 3-pointer from the wing late in the period.
In the second half Stripling scored the first five points for the Bulldogs and Hickerson had the next five, with his fourth trifecta at the 17:01 mark. Bondâ€™s dunk forced a timeout by the Bears with 14:47 remaining and Cumberland ahead, 53-26.
CU did not score a field goal for more than seven minutes after the dunk until Gudeâ€™s putback with 7:16 left, but Shawnee State cut just nine points off the lead. Hickersonâ€™s final 3-pointer of the game just about sealed the win and the Bulldogs made 14-of-16 at the foul line in the second half.
Cumberland plays at Mid-Continent University on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and heads to Delta State next weekend on Saturday.