February 23, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
Univ. of Cumberlands1022101961
Cumberland University912222164
Stats at a GlanceUCWCU-W
FG Percentage.366 (26-71) .357 (15-42)
3P FG Percentage.385 (5-13) .231 (3-13)
FT Percentage.308 (4-13) .795 (31-39)
Offensive Rebounds1512
Defensive Rebounds1936
Total Rebounds3448
Bench Points1924
PointsSimpson - 13
Watson - 22
ReboundsBruner - 6
St. Louis - 15
AssistsBruner - 4
Lawson - 4
Leonard - 3
StealsRhodes - 3
Bruner - 3
Lewter - 3
Miller - 3
BlocksSimpson - 1
Rhodes - 1
St. Louis - 3
Second-half push carries Phoenix to Senior Day win
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Second-half push carries Phoenix to Senior Day win
Kerrice Watson scored a career-best 22 points, 18 in the second half, in CU's 64-61 win Saturday against the Cumberlands. (Credit Coy Gill)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Kerrice Watson netted a career-high 22 points and Cumberland posted a 22-10 advantage in the third period to overcome a double-digit halftime deficit, holding off the University of the Cumberlands for a 64-61 victory in women’s basketball action here Saturday at Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena.

The Phoenix (7-19, 3-11 Mid-South) trailed 32-21 at the half and 37-30 midway through the third period before putting together a 12-5 spurt to take the lead near the end of the quarter. Watson made one free throw and a 3-pointer to start the run and ended the stretch with another triple for a 43-42 Cumberland advantage headed to the final period.

Shayla Simpson’s old-fashioned 3-point play for the Patriots (15-15, 1-13) held knot the game at 45 and the teams traded baskets before the Phoenix posted seven straight points to take the lead for good. Britany Miller recorded six of the seven points for CU with two field goals and two foul shots and Torri Daniels hit 1-of-2 at the charity stripe for a 54-47 CU lead with just under six minutes to play.

Dominique St. Louis hit two foul shots with 1:21 remaining, stretching the advantage to 60-52, but the Cumberlands would not go away. Hannah Lawson and Simpson each made layups to cut the lead to four and Watson connected on 1-of-2 at the foul line with 24.1 seconds left for a 61-56 advantage.

Jasmine Rhodes added a layup for the Patriots with 15.1 seconds and Miller was also 1-of-2 on free throws with 11.2 seconds remaining, keeping the lead at four. Abby Estes drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner for the Patriots with 4.1 seconds left, making it a one-point game, but Miller added two more foul shots for the final margin. Summer Cramer’s desperation three from 30 feet fell short at the buzzer, preserving the victory for the Phoenix.

Watson scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half, hitting 6-of-14 field goals overall and 8-for-10 at the foul line. Cumberland connected on 31-of-39 free throws overall, including 24-for-30 in the second period.

St. Louis finished with eight points and a career-best 15 rebounds on Senior Day and Miller collected 15 points and 10 boards off the bench.

Simpson led four players in double figures for the Patriots but made only 5-of-17 field goals. Rhodes and Kayla Bruner each recorded 12 points and Lawson added 11. The Cumberlands shot just 4-of-15 from the floor in the third quarter, opening the door for CU.

Neither team started very well from the field, combining for just 3-of-18 in the first six-plus minutes. Layups by Rhodes and Simpson gave the Patriots a 10-9 edge after 10 minutes.

The Cumberlands outscored CU, 22-12, in the second quarter, including 13-5 in the first five minutes. Rhodes posted four points and Rebecca Lewter hit a 3-pointer before a layup from Bruner put the visitors ahead, 23-14.

A 15-footer by Cumberland’s Devon Burns cut the deficit to seven, but Simpson answered with a triple and Madison Meier and Lawson followed with baskets, increasing the UC advantage to 30-16.

Lawson drove the length of the floor in the final 10 seconds for another layup and the Patriots took a 32-21 lead to intermission. Simpson led all scorers with eight points and Rhodes and Lawson each netted six.

Cumberland shot just 30 percent (7-for-23) from the field with 13 turnovers, which the Cumberlands converted into 13 points. Katherine Griffith scored five points and St. Louis added four for the Phoenix.

The Phoenix play in the quarterfinals of the Mid-South Conference Championships this Friday at 1 p.m. CT against a yet-to-be-determined opponent in Pikeville, Ky.