PULASKI, Tenn. – Allysia Bailey’s potential game-tying jump shot in the lane with five seconds left bounced around the rim, but wouldn’t fall as Cumberland University lost another close game with a 62-58 defeat at the hands of Martin Methodist College Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (6-16, 2-12 TranSouth Conference) were forced to foul with the hope of getting one final possession with the game still in reach. Crystal Poindexter knocked down both free throws with 2.9 seconds on the clock, scoring her only two points of the contest to seal the victory for MMC (16-12, 7-7).
Cumberland played from behind for much of the second half before taking the lead at 41-40 on a 3-pointer by Bailey. The two teams battled back-and-forth until Martin Methodist pushed its lead to five points at 53-48.
CU forced one more tie – at 56-56 – before back-to-back baskets by Whitney Robison gave the RedHawks a four-point lead. Simone Ryan made it a one-possession game with a basket with 48 seconds remaining.
Micah Anderson missed a layup on Martin Methodist’s next trip down the floor and Angie Wells secured the rebound and moved it to the Cumberland side of the court, where head coach Jeremy Lewis called a timeout to draw up a play for the Bulldogs. When nothing materialized from that play, Lewis called his final timeout with 10 seconds on the clock, setting up the final Cumberland play that ended with Bailey’s miss.
The Bulldogs, who have lost five of the last six to Martin Methodist, kept the game close throughout, not allowing the RedHawks to take a lead larger than five.
Cumberland scored its first two points 15 seconds into the game and held the lead for most of the early minutes of the period. The Bulldogs’ largest advantage came at four points following three free throws by Allysia Bailey.
Martin Methodist tied the game at 13-13 with 10:12 remaining in the half and quickly pushed its lead to five points.
CU cut the deficit to one five times but was never able to regain the lead before the break. The Bulldogs had a chance to score a go-ahead basket before intermission following a Brittany Cash steal with 28 seconds left, but Simone Ryan was called for three seconds in the lane before Cumberland could get a shot off and the RedHawks took a 29-28 lead into the locker room.
Ryan led all scorers with 21 points and also pulled down a team-high five rebounds for Cumberland. Bailey contributed 13 points for CU, while Robison, Anderson and Ashley Meeks scored 17, 16 and 11 respectively for Martin Methodist.
The Bulldogs close out the regular season next week with a pair of games against Mid-Continent, traveling to Mayfield, Ky., on Monday at 6 p.m. and hosting the Cougars Saturday at 2 p.m.