“We came out kind of flat,” Wood said. “At halftime coach told us to attack and to be aggressive in the second half. I just did what coach told me to do and got aggressive.”
Wood turned it on when the Tornadoes needed it the most. The sophomore scored seven points during a 9-1 run to give TC a 67-55 lead with 3:37 remaining in the game.
The Bulldogs fought their way back into the game with less than a minute to go behind two three-pointers from Kyle Upton to make it 71-69.
Kerry Harvis split a pair of free throws to make it 72-69 with 9.7 seconds left in the game. Cumberland had a chance to tie the game, but Upton’s three-point shot bounced off the front of the rim.
“I thought both teams played well,” Cumberland head coach Lonnie Thompson said. “I thought they jumped up and made the big shots when they had to make the big shots. I think we would have had a better chance of winning the game if we had not missed so many cheap shots. We had some easy baskets that got away from us, probably eight for the night. That would have forced them to come down and make those big shots to stay in the game. If we made those easy lay-ups I think we put them in a tough position at the end.”
Poor shooting and turnovers hurt the Tornadoes the entire game. TC shot 40 percent from the field for the game and turned the ball over 20 times.
“We played terrible,” TC head coach William Brown said.
The Tornadoes opened the game by scoring seven quick points. TC struggled to find any kind of rhythm for the rest of the first half. They went through two 3 minute scoring droughts, which allowed Cumberland to get back into the game. Lamar Brinkley scored seven of his 11 points late in the first half to help the Bulldogs take a 36-35 lead into the locker room at intermission.
Harvis scored 15 of his 25 points in the first half. Tarium Taylor scored 13 points for TC.
Walter Simons and Upton led the Bulldogs with 13 points. Lamar Brinkley scored 11 points. Harris Batalevic scored 10 consecutive points in the second half, which included an emphatic dunk on Taylor.
The Tornadoes hit the road to take on Saint Thomas University on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Contact LaVonte Young at firstname.lastname@example.org