The odds were stacked against the Cumberland County College Men's Basketball team as the 2nd place Middlesex County College Blue Colts rolled into town with a 15-3 record. The Blue Colts defeated the Dukes back in November, 65-61.
The rematch began just as the first matchup, as both teams traded baskets early on. At the midway point of the first half, Cumberland was able to jump ahead with an 18-11 lead with Andre Robinson at the forefront of the early charge. The Blue Colts continue to chip away and eventually take a 32-31 in the later stages in the half as the teams would trade baskets once again. Cumberland would gain the upperhand and take a 40-37 lead into halftime.
The 2nd Half would be the Taylor Clarke & Phil Cisrow show as the pair would take the game over. Taylor Clarke would lead the Dukes in scoring with 32 points, shooting 80% from beyond the arc, finishing the day on 10-14 shooting. Cisrow would earn yet another double double, this time with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 steals. As the duo took control of the game, so would the Dukes as they would not relinquish the lead for the duration of the half. Credit to the Blue Colts, each time the Dukes looked to run away with the game, Middlesex would claw their way back to within two points at 78-76 with just under 2:30 to go in regulation. However, that would be as close as they would get as the Dukes finally held them at bay to close out the 88-81 victory.
In addition to Cisrow and Clarke, the Dukes received major contribuutions from Andre Robinson, who finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 steals. Danny Williams, who has been steady all season, pitched in 13 points and 9 rebounds. Michael Burden stabilized the guard position with 7 assists and 3 steals while continuing his strong defensive effort.
The victory gives the Dukes another signature victory as they now have split the season series against Middlesex and Brookdale CC, both who sit in 2nd and 3rd place in the GSAC respectively. Cumberland is now 12-6 overall, 10-6 in region play with 7 games to play. Their schedule for the remainder of this week is as follows...
Tuesday 1/29 - Ocean County - 7 PM
Thursday 1/31 - Valley Forge Military College - 7 PM
Saturday 2/2 - @ Sussex County CC - 2 PM