LEBANON, Tenn. – Tamara Gonzalez scored a career-high 28 points and Cumberland used a 9-0 run with seven minutes left in the game to break open a tie contest en route to a 69-59 triumph over Tennessee Wesleyan Tuesday night in the Cumberland Classic at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Bulldogs (6-2) led by five at halftime but Tennessee Wesleyan (5-7) put together a 10-0 spurt at the beginning of the second period to take their first lead of the game. The teams went back-and-forth for much of the rest of the half, including four ties and eight lead changes.
Cumberland finally took control with a 10-0 run at the 6:33 mark, starting with a 3-pointer by Gonzalez, one of five in the contest by the sophomore. Keshia Brown had a layup before another trifecta from Gonzalez, who set her career-best for the second straight outing after netting 24 points December 12 against Fisk University.
The Bulldogs nearly let TWC back into the game, hitting just 11-of-23 at the foul line. Brown scored 13 points and freshman Stephanie Martin posted 11 points and seven rebounds, while Simone Ryan grabbed 13 boards for CU.
Tennessee Wesleyan made 11 3-pointers in the game but had just 17 field goals total. Lindsey Jackson had five of the trifectas and netted 21 points, while Amy Jo Castor scored 10 points.
Cumberland scored the first eight points of the game, and TWC failed to hit a field goal until a 3-pointer from Jackson with 12:12 left in the first half. CU could not take advantage of the visitors shooting just 29 percent in the period (5-of-17) and committing 14 turnovers, but the Bulldogs maintained the lead for the rest of the half and led 27-22 at intermission.
Gonzalez scored 12 of CU’s points in the half on 5-of-12 shooting, while the rest of the club hit only 7-for-26 from the field.
CU hosts the University of the Cumberlands Wednesday at 2 p.m. to finish the Cumberland Classic. The Bulldogs open TranSouth Conference action January 7 at Lyon College.