Wise, Va. - Deon Boyce scored 22 points and grabbed 24 rebounds as UVa-Wise came from behind to post its fourth consecutive victory, 81-80 over Cumberland University in double overtime at the Prior Center on Thursday. The Cavaliers (8-5, 3-4 MSC) did not gain the lead until the second overtime as the Bulldogs (6-9, 2-5 MSC) shot in excess of 60 percent from the field for the majority of the contest.
Cumberland jumped out to a 36-27 lead at intermission as the visitors connected on four, three point baskets en route to a 61.5 percent shooting performance in the opening half. Creshaun Holt paced the Bulldogs by scoring 15 of his game-high 24 points in the half.
UVa-Wise would crank up the defensive intensity in the second half by forcing 15 Cumberland turnovers as the Cavs outscored the Bulldogs 41-32. Javon Moore scored 15 points in the half as he connected on six of 12 shots from the field en route to tying Holt for game-high scoring honors.
With UVa-Wise trailing by two with 1:04 to play, Moore was fouled on a drive to the hoop. The sophomore connected on both free throw attempts to knot the game at 66. Two possessions later, Brian Blackmon banked a shot in from inside the paint to give Cumberland the lead with 12 seconds to play. Moore would drive to the lane only to have his shot blocked, a scramble would ensue that ended up with James Turner connecting on a tip in with less than second to play. A last second heave by the Bulldogs came up no-good to send the contest to overtime.
Cumberland would jump out to a four point lead early in the overtime period only to see UVa-Wise once again battle back. Trailing by two with fewer than five seconds to play Matt Day found Boyce alone under the basket for a layup to tie the game and force a second overtime possession with the game tied at 76.
The game's second overtime was nip and tuck throughout ending with UVa-Wise having the ball and a chance to win for the first time. The Cavs sent point guard Smith down the left baseline only to see the junior's floater come up no-good. However, a foul was spotted on the Bulldogs' Cameron Prather; the foul sent Smith to the line for two shots with 0.5 seconds to play. Smith missed the first free throw but, he made the second to give the Cavs the lead. Cumberland's half court shot at the buzzer was wide giving UVa-Wise the 81-80 victory.
The Cavs will play game two of a four game home stand on Saturday when #1 University of the Cumberlands at 4:00 p.m. Fans unable to make the game can hear the action live on www.uvawisecavs.com