Marietta, GA – The 21st-ranked UC men's basketball team fell behind early and couldn't overcome that deficit as they fell to Life 74-68 in their Mid-South Conference opener Saturday afternoon. With the win the Running Eagles improve to 11-6 overall, while the Patriots drop to 13-3.
Life opened the game by netting seven unanswered points in the first two minutes of action. Just over a minute later Anthony Eaves drained a three-pointer for UC's first field goal of the contest and cut the deficit to 9-4. That shot sparked a 9-0 run, which was capped off by a Bri'an Brown bucket to give Cumberlands a 10-9 lead with 14:18 left. The Running Eagles netted 11 unanswered points, over a four-minute span, to take a 20-10 lead. UC responded with an 8-4 run, including a three-pointer from Danny Butt, to cut the deficit to 24-18 with 6:19 left in the first half. Life outscored the Patriots 13-12 over the final minutes of the first half to take a 37-30 lead into the break.
It was an evenly contest game right from the start of the second half as the teams traded numerous buckets over the first five minutes. With Cumberlands trailing by 11, Travon Labranche hit from long range to cut the score to 52-44 with 13:15 left. The two teams continued to trade baskets, with the deficit never getting less than six until the five-minute mark 4:40 mark. Leabranche and Malik Colvin-Seldon combined for six straight points to make it 63-60, however that was the closest the Patriots came as Life held on for the 74-68 final.
Butt led the way for the Patriots with 15 points and six rebounds, while Colvin-Seldon and Labranche finished with 13 points apiece. Jahi Hinson added 12 points and four assists as Caleb Taylor grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
UC returns to action Thursday, January 10, as they travel to Portsmouth, OH to face Shawnee State at 8 p.m. Live video is available here, while live stats will be available here.