After a big win on Tuesday evening to help its playoff seeding potential, the Cumberland County College Men's Basketball team hosted the Bergen County Community College Bulldogs in a crucial matchup. A potential trap game for the Dukes, head coach Darrin Stalling prepared his squad for what would be a tough battle.
A battle it was as the Bulldogs came out with high intensity to start the game. Cumberland would trail by as much as 15 points early in the first half as the Bulldogs defensive intensity startled the Dukes and forced multiple turnovers. Cumberland looked out of sorts and the thought of this matchup being a trap game looked to be more reality than cliche. At the half, Bergen would hold a 38-25 lead.
Coming out of the locker room, Cumberland looked to regain the confidence that drove a lengthy early season winning streak and recent crucial victories against the likes of Brookdale, Middlesex, and Northampton. Led by Taylor Clarke and Phil Cisrow, the Dukes came out firing on all cylinders. After trailing by 13 points at the half, Cumberland would surge to within a 40-38 deficit led by Taylor Clarke, who would score 10 unanswered points. Soon after, Clarke would drill an open jumper from beyond the arc to put Cumberland up for good at 43-41. From that point on, Cumberland would methodically lengthen their lead, its highest at 15 points. Clarke would finish with 37 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Phil Cisrow would reel in yet another double double, scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds, 6 of them on the offensive end. Kevin Clark, in just his second game back from injury, scored 17 points while grabbing 7 rebounds. The "Law Firm" would account for 70 of the team's 79 points en route to the victory.
Cumberland will travel to Cranford, NJ on Tuesday evening to face Union County College, weather permitting. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.
Cumberland is 16-7 overall, currently in 5th place in Region XIX with a 14-7 region record, and is in 3rd place in the Garden State Athletic Conference with a 11-7 in-conference record.