GEORGETOWN — Cumberlands took Georgetown down but not out Thursday night.
Tenth-ranked Georgetown overcame an 11-point deficit to edge No. 24 Cumberlands 71-63 in a Mid-South Conference men's game in Davis-Reid Alumni Gym.
"I'm proud of our guys," Tigers Coach Chris Briggs said. "Came out of a little bit of a funk — not quite ready to play, and Cumberlands came out hot. They're a talented team and made some shots. I was worried there for a little bit."
After leading 2-0, Georgetown quickly fell behind 12-2, then 18-7 six minutes into the game. The Tigers rallied to within 34-33 at halftime.
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Georgetown finally caught up at 34, but it didn't retake the lead until Anthony Crater's three-pointer made it 43-42 with 13:08 left.
The game seesawed until another Crater three with 2:55 to play put Georgetown ahead to stay, 62-59.
The Tigers sealed the win by going six-for-six at the free-throw line in the final 30 seconds, with conversions by Jordan DeMercy, Aaron Morris and Maurice Pearson.
Cumberlands was held to four points in the last three minutes — a twisting jumper in the lane by Zavion Neely and a pair of free throws by Benito Santiago Jr.
Georgetown (20-6, 10-4 MSC) completed a sweep, having won 75-73 at Williamsburg on Jan. 12.
Pearson, a 6-foot-9 senior, led the Tigers with 20 points and nine rebounds. Crater and Garel Craig added 10 points each.
"We just had to play strong defense, work hard," Pearson said of the comeback. "... We had to lay it out on the line."
Cumberlands (15-10, 7-6) got 15 points and seven rebounds from Santiago, son of the former Major League Baseball player.
Neely had 14 points, Flynn Clayman netted 11, and Matt Daniel scored 10. Patrico Leadon tied Santiago for the team lead in rebounds, seven, and he had eight points.
"Better team won fair and square, that's all," Patriots Coach Donnie Butcher said. "We can't guard them. We tried every defense known to man and we couldn't stop them.
"Maybe I'll have to try to figure out a few more that we can try on them because we just can't defend them. They scored so easy on us. I thought we tried hard, though. We had a chance."
Pearson helped Georgetown to a 41-36 rebounding advantage.
The Tigers shot 50 percent in the second half, finishing the game 23-for-55 (41.8 percent).
Cumberlands went 6-for-22 (27.3 percent) in the second half, going 18-for-51 (35.3 percent) for the game.