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Mountaineers Impressive in Close Loss to Cumberland

Have you ever coasted into the gas station with an empty tank and a sputtering engine?

Despite being beaten in nearly every statistical category, the Berea College Mountaineers grit and hustle nearly bested the University of the Cumberland Patriots on November 20. Three Mountaineers scoring in double-figures and the quick hops of sophomore guard Josh Mallory, who grabbed nine timely rebounds, could not overcome a bigger and very physical Patriots squad that did have enough in the tank to surge late in the game for a six-point victory.

Berea fell behind by eleven early in the game but a furious rally to close the first half brought the Mountaineers to within two of the Patriots (41-39).

The second half saw neither team build a substantial lead until late in the game when Berea took a six point lead with about five minutes left in the game.

A confident Berea squad was on the verge of defeating a long-standing rival they haven’t beaten since 1992. Junior forward Charles Wandera threw down a thunderous dunk over two hapless Patriots and brought the crowd to its feet as Berea seemed to be in a position to close the game.

But the Patriots chipped away at the lead as Berea went cold from behind the three-point arc while making just one of twelve three-pointers in the second half. Meanwhile, the Patriots, who shot just twenty percent from beyond the three-point arc in the first half, lit up the scoreboard by hitting five of 11 three-pointers in the second half. Berea lost 73-79.

Senior forward Jordan Samuels led the Mountaineers in scoring with 14 points. Wandera scored 12 and junior guard Cody Hornsby added 10. Mikah Turner, Berea’s second-leading scorer this season had an off night by making just three of 15 field goals.

“Nothing gives people more satisfaction in this town of Berea than seeing Berea College play Cumberland and beating them,” said Coach John Mills, now in his sixth year as head coach.

Just a little more in the tank at the end of the game and Berea may have done just that.

Berea’s record falls to 2-4.

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