LEBANON, Tenn. – Tamara Gonzalez hit four 3-pointers and scored a team-best 16 points, but Natalie Shumpert netted 21 of her 30 points in the second half, as seventh-ranked Freed-Hardeman defeated Cumberland, 80-71, in women’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Cumberland (11-12, 3-7) kept the game close by hitting 10 trifectas in the contest, but the Bulldogs were whistled for 30 fouls in the game and FHU converted at the foul line, making 29-of-36. For her efforts Gonzalez was named the Music City Star of the Game.
The Lions (19-5, 8-2) also made a living on the offensive glass, with Maria Bagwell pulling down 10 of the team’s 21 offensive rebounds. The visitors converted that into 21 second-chance points.
Casie Cowan made a pair of 3-pointers for CU and finished with 12 points, while Samantha Harper added 10 points off the bench. Kristi Landers finished with nine points, going 3-for-3 from 3-point range.
Shumpert made 11-of-12 at the foul line and also hit 9-for-18 from the field. Meredith Boehler, the nation’s leader scorer, recorded 22 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out with four minutes to play. Bagwell added eight boards and 15 boards as well, while Whitney Johnson posted 11 points for the Lions.
Cumberland started the game just 2-for-10 from the field and did not score its field goal of the game until the 15:33 mark on a 17-footer from Cowan. FHU put together an 11-4 spurt early in the contest to take a 17-9 advantage, but the Bulldogs battled back with 14 of the next 22 points, cutting the deficit to 25-23 on a Cowan 3-pointer with 6:56 left in the period.
The Lions ended the half by scoring seven of the final 10 points, with Johnson hitting a 3-pointer from the corner and then feeding Bagwell for a layup just before the buzzer, giving FHU a 43-33 advantage at the break.
Boehler scored 14 points in the half for FHU, going 8-for-8 at the foul line, while Shumpert added nine points. Bagwell posted eight points and eight rebounds, six on the offensive glass, leading to 10 second-chance points for the Lions.
Both teams started the second half ice cold, with only one point scored in the first five minutes of the period. Cumberland missed 5-of-6 foul shots during the stretch, a missed opportunity to cut into the deficit.
The Lions extended the lead to 51-37 on a pair of Shumpert free throws with 13:04 remaining and kept a double-digit advantage for most of the next 10 minutes. An 8-2 spurt by the Bulldogs cut the FHU lead to 69-63 with 3:30 left, highlighted by five free throws from Ashley Whitmore and a Gonzalez trey.
Freed-Hardeman made 9-of-12 at the foul line over the final three minutes to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
Cumberland hosts Blue Mountain College on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.