Slow start stalls Bulldogs
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Slow start stalls Bulldogs
Casie Cowan scored 15 points, including 11 in the second half, in CU's loss Thursday to Indiana Wesleyan. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Freshman Casie Cowan scored 15 points, including 11 in the second half, but Cumberland fell behind early and was never able to recover, dropping a 57-42 decision to Indiana Wesleyan on Thursday night in the Rosa Stokes Classic in Lebanon, Tenn.

The Bulldogs (7-4) missed their first six shots and fell behind 16-2 in the first seven minutes of the contest. CU fought back and trailed by eight at intermission before cutting the deficit to three just four minutes into the second period.

Cowan scored eight of her 11 second-half points in the first four minutes of the second half, but CU then went almost six minutes without a field goal, as IWU (13-2) put the game away with a 14-4 spurt over the next seven minutes. For her efforts Cowan was named the Music City Star of the Game.

Elaine Hessel led the Wildcats with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Kayla Thompson added 10 points.

Jessica Pace was the only other Bulldog in double figures with 10 points. She added six rebounds as well but suffered through a 2-for-12 shooting night.

The Bulldogs started the game very slowly, missing their first six shots from the field and scoring just two points before Samantha Harper, making her season debut, hit a baseline jumper with 13:10 left in the period. By then the Wildcats had raced out to a 16-2 advantage with five points from Thompson and four by Leann Douglas.

Cumberland scored the final six points of the half, including two jumpers from Cowan and a layup by Ashley Whitmore, cutting the deficit to 25-17 at the break. CU was just 7-for-21 from the field but scored eight points off 10 IWU turnovers.

The Bulldogs started the second half with a 12-7 run, cutting the IWU lead to 32-29 four minutes into the period. Cowan had an old fashioned 3-point play to start the spurt and finished it with five straight points.

But the Wildcats answered with their own run, this one 14-4 over a seven minute span, opening a 46-33 advantage with nine minutes remaining. Five players scored during the run, including four from Krystal Stoneking.

Cumberland takes on 18th-ranked Univ. of the Cumberlands Friday at 2 p.m. to finish the tournament.