The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men’s Basketball team continued their pursuit on Friday in the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament as they faced Talladega College (TC) Tornadoes. After a slow start for UC in the first half that saw the Patriots trail by 18 at one point, the Patriots would surge from behind to come away with an 82-80 victory, moving on to the Round of 8. The win moves the Patriots to 24-11 on the season.
In the first half, the Tornadoes would come out firing on all cylinders, especially from three point range where UC would find themselves down by as much as 18 points. At the half, UC would trail Talladega 50-36. The Patriots would come out in the 2nd half as they have many games this season, making great adjustments in the locker room. UC would begin the half on a 20-8 run and inch their way back into the game. With the game tied late at 80-80, D’Lando Carter (Danville, IL) would cut his way through two defenders to sink a lay-up with 2.5 seconds remaining to give UC the 82-80 lead. The Tornadoes would get a final shot from half court, but would hit off the front of the rim, sending the Patriots to the quarterfinal round.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Patriots were led on the day by Temjae Singleton (Los Angeles, CA) with 29 points and 6 rebounds. He was crucial from the free throw line, going 14-16 in the game.
Tre Boutilier (North Preston, Canada) chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds, garnering another double-double.
Xavier Owens (Tampa, FL) added 14 points and 5 rebounds in the win.
The Patriots shot 45.5% from the field while shooting 24-27 (88.9%) from the charity stripe.
This is UC’s third trip to the Round of 8. The last time was in 1997 when they won and advanced to the Round of 4 or the Semifinals. That was the best finish in school history.
Talladega’s Jordan Washington led his team with 26 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds.
“Our conference really prepared us for this moment,” said Cumberlands Head Coach Don Butcher. “Give Talledega credit, they shot the ball really well. We stayed on task and tried to guard them. They are near impossible to guard, they’re so fast with the ball. That game could have changed either way. We feel very fortunate to get out of here with a win.
We have seven seniors, they don’t want it to end. It is fun to watch from a coaching standpoint, our team put their heart and soul into this. We are trying to get them ready for the game of life and if they put as much into their families and into their jobs as they do basketball, they will be successful. We hope we are growing the right habits and those seniors deserve this.”
The Patriots now will compete in the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament Quarterfinals against NAIA #14 and #4 seeded Mid-America Christian as they knocked off #1 seeded Biola. That game will be on Saturday, March 19th with tipoff set for 1 pm eastern time.
FIND OUT MORE
For the latest and most up-to-date information on University of the Cumberlands Athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Story courtesy of UC Multimedia/Athletic Services