The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men's basketball team started off the 2012-2013 Mid-South Conference (MSC) season in style, calmly closing out the Shawnee State Bears and Rio Grande Red Storm on the road this past week. With a 67-63 win over the Bears and a 72-70 win over the Red Storm, the Patriots now move to 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in MSC play.
On Thursday, the Patriots traveled to Shawnee State to take on the Bears in their MSC opener. Although both teams had their chances to pull away with the win, the Patriots buckled down in the final minutes as a team with solid free throw shooting and team defense coming away with the 67-63 win.
While the Bears attack was led by a couple of hot handed shooters, the Patriots once again exhibited a balanced offense with five players reaching double digit status. After being recognized as MSC player of the week the previous week, senior guard Antonio Bumpus (Columbus, OH) put up a hard earned 16 points and 11 rebounds while Ernie McCoy (Columbus, OH) won the point guard battle scoring 15 points and dishing out 3 assists. Steve Goins (Chicago, IL) and James Archie (Jackson, MS) both added 12 points each with Goins ripping down 11 rebounds as well. Although the Patriots struggled from the field and behind the three-point line, their effort and grit on the defensive side was rewarded in the end, preparing them for the struggle against the Red Storm on Saturday.
With momentum going into Saturday's game, Cumberlands managed to stay calm in the final minutes coming away with the nail-biting 72-70 victory. The Red Storm challenged the Patriots in every category; however, Cumberlands proved just why they were the superior team, out-rebounding Rio Grande 31-30 and shooting a solid 50% compared to their streaky 48%. The Patriots were led once again by Bumpus who scored a game-high 20 points in 36 minutes of play. Goins posted a double-double on the afternoon with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while McCoy poured in 16 points of his own.
With both wins on the road, the Patriots look to continue their success at home on Tuesday, November 20th as they face Cumberland University on their home floor at 8:00 PM.
For more information on the Patriot's men's basketball team as well as other Patriot athletics, visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article provided by Stephanie Quattrociocchi, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant.