Cleveland State Finishes Weekend Trip With 2 Big Wins

Monday, November 11, 2013 - by Bryan Grisham
Wins on the road in basketball are sometimes hard to come by. Wins in the Region VII Conference in a hostel environment are often times very hard to come by. The Cleveland State basketball teams did both on Saturday afternoon as they finished off a long road trip in fine fashion with two big wins over the Southwest Tennessee Saluqis.
 
The Cougars remained undefeated on the campaign with a thrilling 82-80 win over the Saluqis while the Lady Cougars overcame their setback on Friday at Dyersburg to get back on the winning track with a come-from-behind 75-74 win over the Lady Saluqis.
 
The Cougars and the Saluqis stood toe to toe for the entire 40 minutes in a knock down, drag out game that has become the norm between these two schools.
 
The Cougars held a small advantage in the early going, but a pair of technical fouls called on the visitors midway through the half turned a three point lead into a deficit as the Saluqis hit five of the six free tosses. The Cougars were unphased by the setback though and slowly regained their lead to take a 39-36 halftime lead.
 
"I was really pleased with the way we handled the adversity," explained Cougar coach Lee Cigliano. "We could have just folded after the technicals, but we used it as motivation and came right back to take the lead."
 
It was more of the same in the second half as each possession became crucial with the lead changing hands on several ocassions. The Cougars somehow found a way to come out on top as their depth played a key role down the stretch. Dontae Lippert and Travis Wildgoose led the charge down the stretch among others, as Lippert poured in all 13 of his points in the second half to help the Cougars to the big win.
 
"I was very pleased with the effort today, we weren't perfect by any means, but we got positive contributions from all 12 players that took the court and that was ultimately the key," said Cigliano. "The guys were determined, didn't let anything bother them and handled the pressure well. When one guy had to come out the next guy stepped up and took over."
 
Keevin Tyus paced the Cougars (4-0, 2-0) with 17 points and seven rebounds, Stetson Moore added 15 points including four shots from downtown and Wildgoose finished with 10 points and eight boards. DeVante Jones scorched the nets for 35 points to lead the Saluqis (3-1, 1-1). The Cougars shot 50 percent for the game while holding Southwest to 39 percent. The game remained close at the charity stripe as the Cougars hit 22 of 30 attempts while the home team knocked down 33 of 47.
 
LADY COUGARS 75 LADY SALUQIS 74
 
The ladies contest set the stage in the first contest of the day as the teams seesawed back and forth the whole way. Like the men, the Lady Cougars battled foul trouble early on and their depth came into play the entire night.
 
"It was a tight game the entire way," said Lady Cougar coach Dan Lumpkin. "Our young players really stepped up in a tough atmosphere and responded to every run. It was a big step for us to get this win after letting one get away from us Friday night."
 
After managing a 32-28 halftime advantage, the Lady Cougars countered every second half run by the Lady Saluqis with one of their own. Aysia Grimsley and Brittany Ramsey led the second half charge as the Lady Cougars held on in a fast and furious finish to escape with the one point win.
 
"This was a great learning experience for these girls, they weathered the runs and didn't let up," said Lumpkin. "Southwest was big and athletic and they never came out of their press, which really surprised us because we handled it extremely well all night long."
 
"Foul trouble was a big factor again today, but everyone that played stepped it up and contributed to the win."
 
Grimsley led the way for the Lady Cougars (3-1, 1-1) with 17 points, Jemesha Mosley and Jara Gasper added 12 apiece while Ramsey added 11 points and seven boards.  Matoria Henley led the Lady Saluqis (0-3, 0-2) with 14 points while Keoshia McGhee added 11. The Lady Cougars shot 49 percent for the game while the Lady Saluqis shot only 41 percent.
 
Cleveland State will return home to host Snead State on Tuesday night at 6:00.

JOHN HUNT: Still Finding Reasons To Be Grateful

It’s hard to believe that we’re to the final Thursday in November when most folks in the free world celebrate Thanksgiving.   My how time flies when you’re having fun. I used to always enjoy reading Roy Exum’s columns on Thanksgiving  when he took a little time to recognize people and to give thanks for all of the wonderful things in his life. Following his ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Withstand Comeback To Beat Lady Vols, 67-63

Jim Foster has won more of his share of big games in his 37 years coaching women’s college basketball, first at Vanderbilt and then at Ohio State. He can now say he’s done the same at Chattanooga after his Lady Mocs handed the Tennessee Lady Vols their first loss of the season Wednesday night at McKenzie Arena in front of 4,160 bi-partisan fans. It may have been UTC’s ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Appeal Dropped In $25 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Hennen's Restaurant By Lisa Barnes

An appeal has been dropped of a Circuit Court jury verdict that found Hennen's Restaurant not at fault in a $25 million lawsuit brought by Lisa Barnes. Circuit Court officials said the appeal was "voluntarily" dropped. It had been set to be reviewed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The verdict in the courtroom of Judge Neil Thomas in early February came at the end of ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)