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Patriots dominate opening week of play, move to 3-0 on the season

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. - The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men’s Basketball team has made it clear to the nation that they deserve to be ranked in the NAIA Top 25, starting off the 2012-2013 season with three big wins. After an impressive 90-83 win over Indiana University Southeast on Tuesday, the men continued to prove their dominance with wins over Pensacola Christian on Friday and Life University on Saturday. With these past two victories, the Patriots now move to 3-0 on the season.

On Friday, the Patriots traveled to Barbourville for the Union College Bulldog Classic where they faced the Pensacola Christian Eagles, clipping their wings in a 91-60 victory. Using all nine active Patriots players, Cumberlands used their fresh bodies to jump ahead early in the game and never look back. Shooting a strong 50% from the field as a team, the Patriots used their team chemistry and unselfish play to spark their scoring attack, dishing out 20 assists as a unit.

Senior guard Antonio Bumpus (Columbus, OH) shot his way to a nearly perfect game, scoring 28 points off 10 of 12 shooting from the field and 3-5 from behind the three-point line. Bumpus also finished with 3 assists and 3 steals. Junior Patrico Leadon (Nassau, Bahamas) had another exciting offensive performance dropping in 15 points of his own, while Steve Goins (Chicago, IL) chipped in 10 points. Senior Benito Santiago Jr. (Coamo, Puerto Rico) completed his second double-double on the season finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds on the evening, proving to be a threat on both ends of the floor for the Patriots. Point guard Ernie McCoy (Columbus, OH) also had a successful evening exhibiting his role as the general on the floor, dishing out 7 assists while only committing 2 turnovers on the night.

The Patriots returned to their home floor on Saturday afternoon to battle the Running Eagles of Life University. Demonstrating patience and intelligence on the offensive side of the court, the Patriot starters dominated play with all five finishing in double-digits. Their balanced attack and ability for any of the five to have the hot hand proved to be too much for the Running Eagles to stop.

Bumpus led the Patriots in minutes as well as points with 18, grabbing 7 rebounds along the way while Goins finished with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Santiago Jr. and Leadon were close behind finishing with 15 points each, with Santiago Jr. dropping 4 dimes and Leadon with 3. McCoy also contributed to the Patriots attack, finishing with 10 points, 3 assists and 3 steals.

As the Patriots move to 3-0 on the season, they travel to participate in the Bethel University Classic on Friday, November 9th where they will face Morthland College. Tip-off is set for 5 PM.

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