University of the Cumberlands (UC) men's basketball team had an exciting week of rollercoaster basketball, falling short to the University of Rio Grande in double overtime 78-69 on Thursday and then regaining their strong presence in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) Saturday defeating the Bears of Shawnee State 83-79 on senior day. With the win over Shawnee State on Saturday, the Patriots moved to 18-10 on the season and 9-9 in Mid-South Conference play.
On Thursday, the Patriots hosted the Red Storm of Rio Grande. The entire game featured a back-and-forth offensive attack from both squads, with the Red Storm outlasting the Patriots' stamina in the end, pulling away in double overtime 78-69. The Patriots had three players reach double-digit scoring, led by senior Benito Santiago Jr. (Coamo, Puerto Rico) who scored 26 points while grabbing 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Antonio Bumpus (Columbus, Ohio) put in 23 points of his own, while Shaquille Lowery (East Moline, IL) added 11 points in a grueling 50 minutes of play.
Saturday afternoon was more than just a basketball game for Cumberlands as the Patriots' seniors played in front of their home crowd for the final time on senior day. The Patriots fell behind early, trailing the majority of the game to the post-heavy Bears of Shawnee State University. However, the Patriots were propelled by the emotional play of their seniors, leading them past the Bears 83-79. Bumpus and Santiago Jr. led the Patriots once again scoring 26 and 23 points respectively. Junior James Archie (Jackson, MS) also got hot in the final minutes shooting 5 of 9 from behind the three point line and scoring 19 points of his own.
The Patriots will look to finish the regular season strong this week as they travel to Bluefield on Thursday and Cumberland University on Monday. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 8 pm.
For more information on the Patriot men's basketball program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by Stephanie Quattrociocchi, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant