Cumberland trailed 62-55 with 11:03 to play, but a basket plus the foul by Ty Sean Powell started a 13-5 run for the Phoenix. Six players scored during the spurt, including baskets by Holt, Jr., Andrew Rogan and Tranard Chester and two free throws from Sweatt-Washington.
Michael Chambers nailed a triple for the Bears at the 7:03 mark and the game was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way. Rhyan Townes had a putback off a missed 3-pointer and made two foul shots with 6:42 remaining, tying the game at 70.
Sweatt-Washington scored his final points of the contest the next time down and Holt, Jr., took over for about three minutes, netting 11 consecutive points for the Phoenix. The senior drilled a 3-pointer, then hit two free throws before connecting on two more triples, giving Cumberland an 83-77 advantage with just over two minutes to play.
Pikeville fouled in the final minute and CU made 6-of-8 at the charity stripe in the final minute, though the two misses allowed the Bears to get within 87-85 thanks to baskets from Jayvian Delacruz and Darrion Leslie.
Townes coolly drained the final two free throws with 13.7 seconds to play for the final margin. Holt, Jr., finished with 17 points, six rebounds and nine assists while Rogan netted 15 and Townes added 12 despite playing most of the second half with four fouls. Sweatt-Washington was unstoppable in the first half, scoring 22 of his 26 points before the break.
Jordan Perry and Delacruz led a balanced attack the Bears with 17 points apiece and Leslie and Chambers each collected 15. Rzu Culbreath finished with 13 points but fouled out midway through the second half.
Three-pointers from Rogan and Sweatt-Washington put the Phoenix ahead, 13-11, and Rogan’s second triple of the half knotted the contest at 16. Delacruz’s trifecta put the Bears in front, 19-16, but Cumberland answered with a 17-6 spurt over the next five minutes, with Sweatt-Washington netting 14 points during the run.
The senior started the stretch with a pair of mid-range jumpers and Powell hit 3-of-4 free throws on consecutive possessions for CU. Sweatt-Washington added a jumper from the elbow and knocked down his second triple of the half before another field goal and then his third triple made it 33-25 with 5:36 remaining in the half.
Perry’s field goal and three free throws by Culbreath pulled Pikeville within three, but baskets by Holt, Jr., and Sweatt-Washington along with a floater in the lane from Rogan stretched the advantage back to eight. Sweatt-Washington’s final 3-pointer of the half pushed the lead to 44-34, but Perry’s jumper just before intermission made it 44-38 at the break.
Cumberland will play Saturday at Shawnee State at 3 p.m. CST before returning home next week to face the University of the Cumberlands and Life University.