The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men’s Basketball team went into Saturday’s quarterfinal round of the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament looking for their 2nd berth in school history into the NAIA Fab Four. It would take a win over #4 seeded and NAIA #14 ranked Mid America Christian University (MACU) to earn that opportunity. Both teams would battle back and forth, but in the end, it was the Evangels of MACU coming away with the 77-73 win over UC. The loss finishes UC’s season at 24-12 overall.
In the first half, UC would hold its largest lead of the game of just two points, but MACU would also hold their largest lead in the half as well at seven. Being a close game throughout the half, UC would bring it within three at the break 36-33. In the second half, the Patriots would regain the lead at times as there were seven ties and 12 lead changes in the game. In the end though, MACU would hold off UC with crucial free throws to come away with the four point win.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Patriots were led on the day by Xavier Owens (Tampa, FL) with 20 points and 10 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season.
D’Lando Carter (Danville, IL) also pitched in 20 points, 4 assists, and 3 assists.
Tre Boutilier (Los Angeles, CA) added 14 points and 6 rebounds in the loss.
UC shot 42.9% from the field in the game along with 36% from three point range.
This was only UC’s fourth appearance in the quarterfinal round since 1978 and Coach Don Butcher’s first as the Head Coach of the Patriots.
MACU’s Devonse Reed and Bryon Miller both had 17 points in the contest while Miller achieved a double-double with 11 rebounds.
“Mid America Christian is very good,” said Cumberlands Head Coach Don Butcher. “They are the most difficult team we’ve had to defend all year and that might have been the best defense we’ve played all year and they still scored 77 points. We can’t guard any harder or any better. They are a very talented team and their coach does an excellent job. I think we brought out our best.”
FIND OUT MORE
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Story courtesy of UC Multimedia/Athletic Services