The Mountaineers returned home after a two-game road trip and fresh off a victory against Union College to face the 10-8 University of the Cumberlands Patriots.
Berea got off to a slow start as the Patriots started the game 12-2 run. The Patriots held a lead of eight or more points until Zacchea Small's three-point basket at the 10:33 mark that cut the lead to five. That basket sparked the Berea offense and helped them take a one point lead at the 7:31 in the first half. The two offenses would trade baskets back and forth before the Patriots took a lead into halftime 39-33.
The University of the Cumberlands would start off the second half as well as they started in the first half, and increased their lead to as many as 11 in the second half. The Mountaineers would make a run late, playing solid defense, while making repeated trips to the free-throw line. Those repeat Patriot fouls gave the Mountaineers a chance to close the gap and not take minutes of the clock.
The back-breaking moment came with 2:34 remaining in the game. The Blue Crew had cut the lead to 66-69, when Jaime Roberts fouled a Patriot player behind the 3-point arch. The three made free throws pushed the Patriot back to six and took away Berea's comeback hopes.
The Mountaineers were led by Adriana Williams who scored 20 points for the second consecutive game, going 10-15 from the floor. Alexus Calhoun shot 6-10 from the floor and 5-6 from the charity stripe to gather 17 points; while Zacchea Small chipped with 11 points.
The Mountaineer will be back in action on Saturday, when they host the Eagles of Asbury University at 1:00 pm in the Seabury Center.