KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box score) Cumberlands (Ky.) sprung the first upset of the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 82-58 win over No. 9 Rocky Mountain (Mont.). The Patriots will take on No. 8-seeded Emmanuel (Ga.) on Friday, March 21 at 9 a.m.
James Archie came off the bench to hit five of his seven three-point attempts to lead Cumberlands with 17 points, all coming in the first half, as the Patriots hit 13 of 25 (.520) from beyond the arc. Michael Dow added 13 points in a reserve role, R.J. Scott tallied 12 points and five rebounds, while Chance Armstrong contributed 10 points and five rebounds for Cumberlands.
“We shot it really well today,” said Cumberlands head coach Don Butcher. “When you make 13 of 25, you’re going to have a chance to do quite well. Once we made a few shots, we relaxed offensively, and it gave us a momentum boost.”
Rocky Mountain controlled the early moments of the game, building a 11-4 advantage at the 15:21 mark of the first half. Joel Barndt had six of his 11 points early on as Cumberlands made just two of its first nine shots and missed a pair of free throws.
The first three-pointer of the game for Archie ended the early slow start for the Patriots, a bucket that sparked a 10-2 run that gave Cumberlands its first lead with 10:05 until halftime, 14-13. Cumberlands then finished the final 6:37 of the half with a 23-6 stretch to push the lead to 45-27 at intermission.
Cumberlands (20-11) led by no fewer than 10 points the rest of the way while stretching the lead to as much as 29 points in the final moments of the half. Rocky Mountain shot 23.7 percent (9 of 38) in the second half, including two of 13 from three-point range.
“I thought we battled back in the second half,” said Rocky Mountain head coach Bill Dreikosen. “We cut it to 12 and then they hit a couple shots again. Give (Cumberlands) credit. They played a lot better than we did today.”
Rocky Mountain tallied 16 offensive rebounds, but was outrebounded for the game, 44-40. Cumberlands dished out 16 assists on its 28 made field goals, led by Shaquille Lowery with seven helpers.
Tyree Anderson had 17 points to lead the way for Rocky Mountain, while Barndt added a game-high 14 rebounds and two blocked shots to his point total. Malachi Roberts also chipped in with 11 points and five rebounds for the Bears.
Rocky Mountain finishes its season with a record of 23-8.
Cumberlands – The Patriots improve to 14-22 all-time in the national championship and 10-12 in first round games … Cumberlands picked up its first tournament win since the 2008 event, a 75-62 triumph over Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) … The Patriots were one three-pointer shy of matching their season-high of 14 set on Jan. 30 against Shawnee State (Ohio).
Rocky Mountain – The Bears dropped to 1-7 all-time in the national championship and have lost back-to-back first round games since winning the 2009 title … RMC suffered its worst tournament loss since a 82-57 defeat to Hamline (Minn.) in the 1951 event … The Bears ranked #6 in NAIA Division I in three-pointers made per game (9.1) and was held four below their average.