LEBANON -- Despite the continued strong play of Brandon Springer, Cumberland University dropped an 84-71 loss at the hands of TranSouth Conference foe Martin Methodist at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center Saturday afternoon.
Springer, who entered the game with six consecutive double-doubles, made it seven in a row with 31 points and 11 rebounds. The game marked the fifth time this year and second in four games that the nation’s leading scorer has topped 30 points.
Cumberland (7-13, 4-3) had won five of its last eight games, including the last two, before dropping the contest to the league’s highest scoring offense.
Martin Methodist (12-7, 2-4) controlled most of the first half, taking the lead at 8-6 and holding it until intermission thanks in large part to Will Shackleford. The nation’s leading rebounder proved to be as much of a scoring threat as a presence on the glass with 18 points before halftime, including going 7-of-8 to start the game and scoring all of MMC’s first 14 points.
Shackleford finished the game with 28 points for the RedHawks, who beat CU for the first time in the last four tries.
The Bulldogs are off until next Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to Mid-Continent at 4 p.m. CU owns a perfect 6-0 record against the Cougars since MCU joined the TranSouth.
IN SATURDAY'S OPENER -- Cumberland scored just 15 points in the second half a 53-43 loss to Martin Methodist Red Hawks in women’s basketball action.
Cumberland (7-9, 1-6 TranSouth) led 28-22 at halftime but did not reach double digits in the second half until a Keshia Brown bucket with 2:53 remaining in the game.
Martin Methodist (12-7, 4-2) used a 22-6 run over a 12-minute span to take control of the game, with the Bulldogs going 2-for-13 from the floor with seven turnovers.
The turning point of the game came with the Bulldogs ahead 32-28 early in the second half. Brown was called for a charge, the fifth offensive foul call of the game against the Lady Bulldogs, and CU head coach Jeremy Lewis expressed his displeasure, drawing a technical foul.
Micah Anderson hit the two free throws for MMC and the visitors run to the lead. It also started the Lady Bulldogs stretch of just two field goals over the next 12:22 of the game as well as three missed free throws.
Allysia Bailey led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points but was limited because of four fouls, three offensive, while no other CU player was in double figures.
Whitney Robison went 10-for-11 from the field and talked 22 points along with seven rebounds, while Anderson scored 11 points with eight boards for the Red Hawks.
Cumberland scored the final nine points in the first half to take a 28-22 advantage at the break. Crystal Poindexter banked in a 3-pointer for the Red Hawks with 5:31 to play in the half, giving MMC a 22-19 lead.
Cumberland shot 48 percent from the field in the half but committed eight turnovers and was whistled for eight fouls, including three charges. Six players scored at least four points for CU in the period, while Robison led the Red Hawks with nine points.
Cumberland hosts King College in a nonconference game Monday at 7 p.m.
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