|CU hoops wins home opener|
|Friday, November 9, 2012|
LEBANON -– E.J. Perry came off of the bench and nailed five three-pointers to go along with 18 points, and Jerret Towns posted 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Cumberland to a 72-62 home opener victory against Oakwood University Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
CU (2-1) started off slowly, falling being 9-0 to the Ambassadors and did not put points on the board until a Perry three-pointer four-and-a-half minutes into the contest. Daniel McFadden then subbed in and provided and layup while drawing the foul and hitting the foul shot to bring the Bulldogs to within one. Lester Gude hit one from downtown to give Cumberland its first lead of the game at 11-9, and two free throws by Tajadeen Abdul-Kaudeyr capped a 13-0 run for CU.
After a jumper by Charles Stewart and a complete lineup change, the Bulldogs were held scoreless until a Towns’ layup nearly three minutes later. Another bucket by Towns pushed CU’s advantage to19-14, but Oakwood answered with two field goals to lessen the lead to one. Following a jumper by Kenneth Stripling, Perry went to work, securing a steal, hitting two free throws and two three-pointers to push the Bulldog lead to eleven. Oakwood called a timeout and hit two from deep in less than 30 seconds to close the gap to 29-24 at the break.
CU and Oakwood traded buckets early on in the second until an Abdul-Kaudeyr score in the paint put the Bulldogs up 35-28. Oakwood hit two jumpers to pull with two before Stewart and Towns stepped to the line and each knocked down a pair of free throws. With the Bulldogs leading by six, Stripling stole the ball twice, leading Brian Blackmon for a layup and setting up Perry for a three pointer, to give Cumberland a 46-35 lead. Stewart snuck in a steal of his own and turned it into two more points, giving CU a 13 point advantage, their largest of the night.
With seven minutes remaining in the game and the Bulldogs holding onto an eleven point lead, the Ambassadors benefited from Cumberland turnovers and converted fouls into points at the line, dwindling the lead to 59-56. Stewart then scored in the lane, but Oakwood responded with a three pointer to bring the game two within two points.
The Bulldogs stepped up the defensive pressure, allowing only four field goal attempts by Oakwood in the final five minutes. Meanwhile, on the offensive end, CU was able to keep the ball in their hands by hitting the first shot of the double bonus and owning the offensive rebound on the second miss several times, to take valuable time off of the clock and secure the win.
CU now has a week off to gear up for conference play, slated to begin next Thursday at the University of Rio Grande at 7 p.m. CT.