The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men’s Basketball team opened up the 2016 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament on Wednesday morning as they took on the Lions of Langston University (LU). In the first ever meeting between the two teams, they wouldn’t disappoint the crowd as they would take the game to overtime, the first time in the history of the tournament that the opening game would go into overtime. It was there that UC would hit some crucial, late free throws to come away with an 80-78 victory, advancing the Patriots to the second round of the championship tournament.
UC would start off strong, but the Lions of Langston were out to show why they were a #3 seed in the tournament and the NAIA #11 ranked team in the country. As the Patriots would go somewhat cold in the first half, shooting just over 27% from the field, the Lions would take a 32-23 lead into halftime. UC would then find their shooting touch, scorching the nets at 54.8% in the half including a perfect 3-3 from three point range and 10-11 from the charity stripe to tie the game. With just over a second remaining, UC would force a LU turnover, giving them a shot to win the game, but was off the mark, sending the game to overtime.
In the overtime period, UC’s three point shooting would prove to be the difference in the game as both teams would hit three shots from the floor and two free throws, but UC would have two makes from beyond the arc, giving them the two point margin of victory over the Lions.
BY THE NUMBERS
Temjae Singleton (Los Angeles, CA) led the team with 20 points and 7 rebounds on the day.
Xavier Owens (Tampa, FL) added 19 points and 6 rebounds, including the two free throws to send the game to overtime along with the two free throws that sealed the victory for UC in overtime.
Tre Boutilier (North Preston, Canada) chipped in a double-double in the victory, scoring 15 points while grabbing 11 rebounds.
D’Lando Carter (Danville, IL) added 11 points off the bench for UC.
The Patriots would shoot 41.2% from the field (53.3% 3PT) and go 16-22 from the free throw line in the win.
Langston’s Terrell Jones and Curtis Jones both led their team with 17 points each.
UC now turns their attention to the second round of the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament where they will take on #2 seeded and NAIA #6 ranked Talladega (AL). Game will be on Friday, March 18th with tipoff scheduled for 10 am 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