COLUMBIA, Ky. – Chelsey Hall and Jazmine Smith misses layups and Hall’s 3-pointer hit the front rim, as 12th-ranked Cumberland missed three good looks in the final 30 seconds and dropped a 57-55 decision to Lindsey Wilson here Thursday night at the Biggers Sports Center to begin Mid-South Conference action.
Cumberland (4-2, 0-1 Mid-South) trailed by nine at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Smith netted all 10 of her points in the final period, including the first four before a 3-pointer by Terra Pryor cut the deficit to 49-44. Hall’s layup plus the foul and a steal and layup by Smith made it a two-point game with 5:42 to play, forcing a timeout by the Blue Raiders.
Billie Hearn’s putback pushed the lead back to four for Lindsey Wilson (4-1, 1-0), but Smith answered with another basket. Courtney Sandlin’s twisting-and-turning field goal gave LWC a four-point lead again, but a bucket by Nicole Bowers cut it back to two with 3:30 remaining.
Bowers drove to the lane for Cumberland on the offensive end again at the end of the shot clock and multiple players went to the floor. Shantanique Tolbert went down for CU and gave Lindsey Wilson a 5-on-4, with Kayla Richardson hitting a short jumper with 2:03 to play. It was the only 2-point field goal for Richardson, who finished with a game-high 20 points and hit six 3-pointers.
Smith’s two foul shots with 1:08 to play were the final points of the game for either team, making it 57-55. The Blue Raiders missed a baseline jumper but got the rebound, though Michelle Montgomery threw it away. Smith picked it up and raced the other way, missing a tough layup against a defender, but she knocked the ball out and CU got the rebound.
Cumberland called timeout with 21.0 seconds left and set-up a play for Hall, who drove to the basket and missed a runner off the glass. The ball ended up on the floor for a held ball, which went to CU with 3.7 seconds remaining. Bowers got the inbounds and handed off to Hall, who got a good look from the wing but the ball hit the front rim just before the buzzer sounded.
Hall was the only other Cumberland player in double figures with 12 points, though nine of those came in the first half. Pryor netted all nine of her points in the second half as well. CU shot just 37 percent from the field but more importantly was outrebounded by the Blue Raiders, 22-12, in the second half.
Chanel Roberts posted 14 points for LWC and Sandlin finished with seven.
Both teams started slowly, combining to make just 8-of-31 shots and commit three turnovers each in the first quarter. Bre Neal scored four points and Bowers’ putback with 54 seconds left in the period tied the game at 10.
Lindsey Wilson’s Malerie Martin and Montgomery each scored in the first minute of the second quarter, but Cumberland then put together an 18-5 run over the next six minutes. Jalita Fason’s driving layup started the stretch and Hall had a bucket and then a 3-pointer. Hall fed Julia Fox for a trifecta and Hall added a reverse layup before a steal and layup by Fox put the Bulldogs ahead, 28-17.
Fox and Hall each netted seven points during the stretch, but CU did not score for the next two-plus minutes and the Blue Raiders took advantage from long range, with Richardson hitting a pair of 3-pointers before another triple by Sandlin in the final minute pulled LWC within 29-23.
Hall paced Cumberland with nine points and Fox and Neal each netted seven in the half. Lindsey Wilson hit more 3-pointers (5) in the opening half than 2-pointers (4), but the long ball kept them in the game.
Cumberland hosts Mid-America Nazarene on Saturday at 4 p.m. in its first home game since November 8.