NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Cumberland took a five-point lead midway through the second half but then failed to score for almost five minutes, dropping a 63-57 decision to Avila Univ. Friday in the Pops Duncan Classic at Moore Gym.
Cumberland (3-2) put together a 14-2 run midway through the second half, with Tranisha Benton netting five points and Ashley Whitmore and Jessica Pace both adding four points. Whitmore’s putback gave the Bulldogs a 52-47 advantage with 5:49 to play. Tamara Gonzalez hit a 3-pointer 38 seconds later, but then CU’s miscues led to an almost five minute drought.
Avila (4-0) took advantage, scoring 10 straight points, four each from Alyson Young and Brittany Townsend, before Whitmore’s field goal with 18.8 seconds remaining ended the scoreless stretch.
No Cumberland player scored in double figures, with Kristi Landers leading the way with nine points, all on 3-pointers in the first half. Whitmore, Pace and Tamara Gonzalez all netted eight points for the Bulldogs. Pace also grabbed nine rebounds for CU.
Young led the Eagles with 19 points, including 9-of-10 at the foul line, while Townsend scored 14 points and Jessica James added 13.
Cumberland made it first two shots of the game – 3-pointers from Yalonda Davis and Pace – but then went almost five minutes without a bucket. Avila scored 10 straight points during the scoreless stretch, including six from Young.
Gonzalez ended the drought for CU with a jumper and Landers followed with a pair of trifectas, cutting the Eagles lead to 17-14. Stephanie Martin’s bucket underneath tied the game at 19 with 7:23 remaining in the half.
Avila’s Torie Murillo scored a basket and James nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key just before the half, but Casie Cowan’s trifecta for the Bulldogs cut the Eagles lead to three at intermission, 29-26.
Cumberland hosts Oakwood University on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.