LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland trailed by just six at the half but started slow after the break and ninth-ranked Bethel University took advantage, racing out to a 15-point advantage en route to a 68-51 victory over the Bulldogs in women’s basketball action Monday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Cumberland (8-9, 1-4 TranSouth) shot just 32 percent in the second half and was unable to overcome its slow start after intermission. Bethel put together a 20-11 spurt over the first eight-plus minutes of the period to open a 15-point edge. The Wildcats iced the game at the foul line, going 9-for-9 after the break and 20-of-23 for the game.
Bethel (14-3, 3-1) also turned 21 CU turnovers into 22 points and got 22 points off the bench, 17 from Anna Trull, who hit three 3-pointers and was a perfect 6-for-6 at the foul line.
Teena Carter tied for game-high honors with 18 points for the Wildcats, while Kelsey Hamilton added 13 points.
Casie Cowan led the Bulldogs with 18 points, 11 in the first half, while Yalonda Davis added 15 points and six rebounds. For her efforts Cowan was named the Music City Star of the Game.
Cumberland played very sloppily in the first half, committing 13 turnovers that led to 13 points for the Wildcats, as Bethel jumped out to a 32-19 advantage after a Darnisha Lyles basket. Hamilton and Trull each had nine points and Lyles posted seven for BU at that point, but the visitors made just 1-of-4 field goals and had three turnovers in the final five-plus minutes of the half, allowing CU to get back in the game.
The Bulldogs scored 10 of the final 13 points in the period, starting with a 3-pointer from Kristi Landers that ended an almost seven-minute drought for CU. Ashley Whitmore scored a pair of field goals in the lane and Davis hit a driving layup. Cowan’s two foul shots with 1:01 remaining in the half cut the deficit to 35-29 at intermission. Cowan scored 11 points in the period, including a trio of 3-pointers, while Davis added eight.
Hamilton finished the half with 10 points for the Wildcats.
Cumberland made just 1-of-5 from the field to start the second half and also missed a pair of free throws before Davis’ 3-pointer and a jumper from Tamara Gonzalez cut the Bethel lead to 47-38. But a pair of turnovers and two missed shots allowed Bethel to score eight of the next 10 points and take a commanding lead.
Cumberland plays its next three games on the road starting Thursday at top-ranked Union University at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs also take on Martin Methodist on Saturday and Fisk University on January 27 before returning home January 29 to take on Mid-Continent.