Walter Arnold’s three-pointer tied the game at 56. Leonard Hall’s layup put Fisk in front, 58-56. Cumberland’s Marquel Hickerson’s bucket sent the game into overtime at the buzzer—and that was just the beginning of the drama on last Saturday evening at Henderson A. Johnson Gymnasium as Fisk University took on Cumberland University.
In an intimate, rowdy, packed from top to bottom gym, the Bulldogs of Fisk (2-3) took on the Cumberland Bulldogs (4-3). By the end of regulation, 58-58 was the score. Up until that point, it’d been back and forth.
Devarus Craig and Cedric Nash gave Cumberland their biggest lead at 39-32 with over 15 minutes to go in the game. Fisk answered with a 10-0 spurt, that included two trifectas from Chris Pollard, their leading scorer on the season. Buckets from DeQuan Bond, Mark Brown and Hickerson put Cumberland back ahead 48-43, ending a four-minute drought. CU was up six on Cedric Nash’s layup before FU’s Quintavis Kelly’s field goal and Pollard’s three-pointer cut the lead back to one with a little over five minutes remaining.
The crowd was hype and going bananas. The atmosphere was priceless. It was deja vu. Walter Arnold did it again, knocking down another triple to put his team ahead. Fisk now led 65-62 with 34 seconds to play in the first overtime. Un-bothered and cool as ice, CU’s Mark Brown came right back with his own three-pointer, sending the game into a second OT. Both teams wanted it.
Neither team was backing down. “We’re going to be here all night,” said the DJ, who was set up on the turntables at the back of the gym. The second overtime would prove too much for CU. Arnold hit two of his five three-pointers and added a field goal in the second overtime when Fisk outscored Cumberland 16-7. Brown and Hickerson both made trifectas for Cumberland early in the second OT, but a Brown free throw would account for the only other point in the extra period for CU. Cumberland was 0-for-6 with three turnovers over the final 3:50. They ran out of gas and the bounces just fell FU’s way. The energizer bunnies from Fisk looked as if they could go another round.
FU’s Leonard Hall was the only player to record a double-double, registering 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Arnold handed out seven assists and LaBarron Collins grabbed 10 boards. Walter Arnold posted 22 points. Chris Pollard added 20 with four three-pointers in an 81-72 double overtime Fisk victory.
Mark Brown made four three-pointers and finished with 17 points, leading all Cumberland players. Hickerson finished with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in 44 minutes. Ronell Abaekobe scored the first seven points of the game for Cumberland, netting 10 total points, all in the first half. Abaekobe’s trifecta just before the half gave CU a 29-26 lead at intermission. Devarus Craig posted 10 points off the bench for CU. Brown also led the Bulldogs with seven rebounds.