The University of the Cumberlands men’s basketball team ended the first half on a 35-8 to en route to a 97-60 win over Hiwassee in their final game of the 2016 schedule Saturday afternoon at the O. Wayne Rollins Center. With the win the Patriots improve to 12-3, while the Tigers fall to 6-2.
Marquis Yates and Bernard Samuel combined to score the first nine points for the Patriots as they jumped out to a 9-4 lead three minutes into the first half. The two teams traded baskets before Samuel drained a three-pointer to tally six points and five rebounds, five minutes into the contest. From that point the Cumberlands used a 9-4 run over the next three minutes to extend their lead to 22-11 with 11:31 remaining. Hiwassee cut the lead to six points before the Patriots went on a 35-8 run, spanning 10:16, to end the half to take a 57-24 lead. Chance Morton and Eric Duncan each netted seven points, while Samuel added five points during that run.
Cumberlands carried the momentum into the second half as Kelsley Wilkinson hit a pair of jumpers to spark a 7-4 run to begin the second half. Minutes later, Eddie Tornes and Michael Dow made back-to-back three pointers to extend the Patriots lead to 76-34 with 12:41 left. The two teams traded baskets over the next six minutes as Cumberlands led 89-46 with five minutes remaining. Hiwassee tried to battle back has they hit four three-points, but Duncan hit a jumper with just over a minute left for the 97-60 final.
Leading the way for Cumberlands was Duncan who tallied a career-high 17 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Travon Labranche grabbed a career-high ten rebounds, while scoring six points on 2-2 from behind the arc. Tornes added 13 points, while Dez Marshall and Samuel each finished with 11.
The 97 points was a season-high for the Patriots topping their previous high of 95, which they did on November 19 against Kentucky Christian. It was also the fifth time this season that Cumberlands has held an opponent to 60 or fewer points.
The Patriots will return to the court Thursday, January 5, when they host Stillman College. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and live video and stats will be available here. The Patriots defeated Stillman 70-68 earlier this season.
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Sports Information Director