LEBANON, Tenn. – Freshman Stephanie Martin posted career-highs with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but Cumberland was unable to close out another close game, falling 68-63 to 22nd-ranked Bethel Univ. in women’s basketball action Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Cumberland (6-15, 2-11 TranSouth) lost for the eighth time this season in seven points or less, including a pair of five-point defeats to the Wildcats. The Bulldogs went almost seven minutes in second half without a field goal, making just two free throws during the stretch, yet and Allysia Bailey 17-footer with 1:34 remaining tied the game at 58, one of five ties in the contest.
But Kashundria Berry converted an old-fashioned 3-point play just 10 seconds later and Bethel never looked back, making 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute to clinch the victory.
Bethel (17-9, 8-5) scored 20 points off 18 CU turnovers and got 19 points and 11 rebounds from All-Conference performer Nina Djokovic. Berry added 15 points and Teena Carter scored 10. The Wildcats made just 22-of-34 at the foul line for the game, but made the charity shots when it counted most.
Martin hit 8-of-9 shots and made five free throws while grabbing 10 boards, her first career double-double, while Bailey added 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
Bethel took a 28-27 lead at halftime despite very ugly action from both clubs, which includes 22 combined turnovers and just 20-for-47 shooting from the field.
Cumberland plays at Martin Methodist Saturday at 2 p.m. and travels to Mid-Continent next Monday for a makeup game from a snow-out in January.