LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland’s Casie Cowan hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points and Jessica Pace grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds, but a three-minute stretch without a field goal late in the second half for the Bulldogs allowed Martin Methodist to post a 70-63 victory in women’s basketball action Saturday in Pulaski, Tenn.
Cumberland (8-11, 1-6 TranSouth) almost pulled off the victory despite major foul troubles, which includes three foulouts and three other players with three fouls. The Bulldogs fell behind early, 21-9, but fought back within two points late in the first half and took their first lead of the contest on a Cowan 3-pointer with 12:46 remaining in the game.
No team led by more than four points the rest of the way until the final seconds. Martin Methodist (13-5, 4-2) essentially won the contest at the free throw line, making 28-of-38 for the game. The RedHawks shot just 33 percent (20-for-60) from the field and made only two 3-pointers.
Cumberland held MMC 20 points below their season average and forced 22 turnovers, which CU turned into 20 points. Unfortunately the Bulldogs committed 22 turnovers as well, but only five in the second half.
Yalonda Davis posted 14 points and five assists for Cumberland in the loss, while Pace had nine points to go with her 17 rebounds. For her efforts Cowan was named the Music City Star of the Game.
Micah Anderson led the RedHawks with 28 points and 13 boards, including 8-of-9 at the foul line. Jessy Christopher recorded 11 points and seven rebounds as well for MMC.
Cumberland started the game very slowly, falling behind 14-5 and 21-9 in the first seven-plus minutes, but a 13-2 spurt midway through the half got the Bulldogs back into the contest.
Davis netted an old-fashioned 3-point play and added another bucket to start the run and Cowan’s 3-pointer with 6:18 left in the half cut the deficit to 24-22. MMC scored six straight points to go ahead by eight, but three points from Kristi Landers and another trifecta by Cowan cut the deficit back to two at 32-30.
Cumberland trailed 35-31 at intermission despite committing 17 turnovers in the half, which turned into 13 Martin Methodist points. The RedHawks returned the favor though, as CU posted 11 points on 13 MMC miscues.
Cowan led the Bulldogs with 11 points in the half, making all three of the team’s 3-pointers in the period. Pace grabbed 11 rebounds in the first 20 minutes, more than half of the team total of 20.
CU was whistled for 16 fouls in the half and the RedHawks took full advantage, making 15-of-22 shots at the foul line. Anderson was 6-for-7 at the charity stripe and netted 14 points in the period.
In the second half Davis gave the Bulldogs a 56-52 advantage with 7:06 remaining, but Cumberland went more than six minutes without a field goal. Cowan and Davis both had a pair of free throws, Davis’ giving CU a 60-58 edge with 3:48 left in the game.
Danielle Proudfit’s two foul shots tied the game and Anderson gave MMC the lead for good with a bucket with 2:07 remaining. Rachel Brown added two free throws before Tamara Gonzalez ended the Bulldogs scoring drought with a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left.
Proudfit’s two foul shots put the RedHawks ahead by three and Cowan missed a 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining, the final gasp for the Bulldogs.
Cumberland plays on the road again Thursday at 6 p.m. at Fisk University before returning home next Saturday to take on Mid-Continent at 2 p.m.