LEBANON, Tenn. – Sixth-ranked Freed-Hardeman used a 19-0 run over six minutes spanning the end of the first half and the first five minutes of the second period and then staved off a late rally by Cumberland in a 59-53 FHU victory in women’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Cumberland (6-5, 0-2 TranSouth) started the game well and led for most of the first half, but 12 miscues in the first 20 minutes ultimately led to the Lady Lions holding a 30-21 advantage at the break after a 3-pointer from Tara Deatheridge at the buzzer.
Freed-Hardeman (13-1, 1-0) then scored the first 13 points of the second half and increased its advantage to as many as 23 points midway through the period.
But Cumberland used a full-court press and put together a 22-7 spurt over seven minutes, cutting the FHU lead to 56-48 with 3:36 left in the contest. Freshman Stephanie Martin contributed eight points during the run, while Keshia Brown netted six points in the stretch.
The Lady Lions had two offensive rebounds before a Meribeth Boehler layup plus the foul with 2:37 left, ending the CU run and helping FHU hold on for the victory.
Brown finished with 14 points off the bench for the Bulldogs, while Tamara Gonzalez scored 10 points. CU shot just 33 percent from the floor for the game.
Jana Cross led all scorers with 16 points, and Deatheridge netted four 3-pointers and 14 total points. The Lady Lions made 18 of their final 35 shots from the field after starting the contest 6-for-18.
Gonzalez hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the contest and Brittany Cash and Martin added two points apiece for an early 7-2 lead for CU. The Bulldogs held the lead because FHU had its turnover troubles as well, committing 11 in the period.
But Deatheridge added a pair of trifectas in the final five minutes of the half and the Lady Lions made six of their final 10 shots of the period. Cross scored 11 points for FHU before intermission, while Angie Wells led the Bulldogs with six points.
Cumberland continues home action Thursday, hosting Blue Mountain College at 6 p.m. at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.