Tommy Chasanoff, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
WILLIAMSBURG – The 11th-ranked Patriots men’s basketball team had three players in double figures as they returned to their winning ways, defeating Thomas More, 70-63, Saturday afternoon on Randy Vernon Court. With the win Cumberlands improves to 9-3 overall and 3-3 in conference play, while the Saints move to 3-2 overall and 1-2 against the MSC.
Josh Williams led the way for the Patriots with 17 points on 6-10 from the field. Tevin Olison added 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Jahi Hinson chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Ismiell Etienne added eight points off the bench.
Williams got the scoring started for UC with a lay-up followed by a bucket from Deng Mayot to put Cumberlands in front 4-0. Hinson and Olison each hit a field goal to get in the scoring column and Mayot converted a pair of free throws to give UC a 10-6 advantage four minutes into the game. The Saints evened the score at 10-10, however Williams converted a three-point play to keep the Patriots in front. Cumberlands went on a 13-5 run, that spanned six minutes, to take a 26-15 lead with 9:14 remaining in the first half. A few minutes later, Olison netted five straight points to extend UC’s lead to 31-18 with 6:04 remaining. Thomas More mounted a comeback scoring 11 unanswered points to cut the lead to two points before a Steven Fitzgerald free throw gave the Patriots a 32-29 edge at the break.
The two teams traded baskets to start the second half until UC went on an 10-2 run to take a 50-40 lead with 11:34 remaining. That run was sparked by a Lamar Harris steal and hustle play to get the ball to Fitzgerald for a lay-up. Ismiell Etienne netted six straight Cumberlands points to keep the Patriots in front 56-49. Two minutes later, Olison drained a three-pointer to give UC a 61-51 advantage with 4:49 left. Thomas More went on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to five, however, the Patriots responded with a bucket from Williams. Cumberlands went 5-6 from the foul line to close out the game and secure the 70-63 win.
Cumberlands finished the game shooting 52.9% from the field and 13-19 from the charity stripe.
The Patriots return to the court Monday, January 4, when they host Pikeville at 8 p.m. on Randy Vernon Court. This will be a rematch of last year’s MSC Tournament semifinals. Live video is available here, while live stats are available here.