Monty Wilson scored 24 points, none bigger than the last four, as top-ranked Georgetown survived an upset bid by Cumberlands to win 75-72 in college basketball Thursday night.
The Mid-South Conference opener was tight throughout, with 16 ties and 18 lead changes.
"I just have confidence in my game," said Wilson, a 6-foot-4 senior. "I know I'm a senior leader. I just want the ball at crunch time, and I've got the confidence. I feel if the ball's in my hands we've got a good chance of winning."
The last of the lead changes came in the final minute.
Cumberlands (5-3) took a 72-71 lead when James Archie sank two free throws with 1:17 left.
After a Georgetown turnover and a Cumberlands miss, Wilson took over.
His fast-break bucket with 32 seconds left put the Tigers ahead.
Cumberlands had a chance to go ahead, but Archie's shot from the circle hit off the rim, the rebound going to Georgetown's Trenity Burdine. He got the ball to Wilson, who was fouled with 3.8 seconds left.
He made both free throws to end the scoring.
Cumberlands tried to get off a game-tying three-pointer, but Archie's shot from the left wing came after the buzzer and was blocked.
"I was proud of our guys for battling back and coming through with the victory," Georgetown Coach Chris Briggs said. "Obviously we have things we have to improve on, specifically our defense. We've got to become a much better defensive team and be more mature and have a more business-like approach to the games. Get ready to play.
"I think these guys will grow up just a little bit and get a little more focused and a little more grounded. We'll be OK, but we've got a lot to work on. We're not playing to our potential. We certainly can play better, so we'll just keep plugging and keep working."
Dominique Hagans added 16 points for the winners (7-0), while Joe Caldwell came off the bench to score 10. Deondre McWhorter led the Tigers with 10 rebounds, adding six points.
Shaquille Lowery paced Cumberlands with 16 points. Archie finished with 14, Taylor Gover had 11, and Michael Dow added eight points and six rebounds.
The Patriots shot themselves in the foot by missing 15 free throws (21-for-36). Georgetown made 16 of 24 free throws.
"They're No. 1 for a reason. They're extremely talented," Cumberlands Coach Donnie Butcher said. "Monty Wilson is the real deal, but they have other really nice players. They have an extremely good team.
"I think we brought the best out in them, like they brought the best out in us, and the best team won. All we can do is continue fighting and continue to make positive progress. "
Cumberlands led 38-36 at halftime.
"I never have doubts," Wilson said. "My confidence is high. I believe in my team and I feel our team is the best in the country. Sometimes we don't play the best ball. It goes like that sometimes. We've got to get better on defense."
Martin Methodist at Georgetown
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.