Gonzalez, Landers lead big CU victory
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Gonzalez, Landers lead big CU victory
Tamara Gonzalez posted a season-high 25 points in CU's 88-67 victory Thursday at Blue Mountain. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Tamara Gonzalez broke out a season-long shooting jump, posting 25 points, and Kristi Landers hit six 3-pointers and netted a career-best 20 points, as Cumberland opened a double-digit lead in the first half and cruised to a 88-67 victory over Blue Mountain College on Thursday in Blue Mountain, Miss.

The Bulldogs (8-7, 1-2 TranSouth) made a dozen 3-pointers in the contest, with three from Gonzalez and a pair by Casie Cowan along with the half dozen by Landers. Gonzalez scored 19 of her 25 points in the second half when CU opened the lead to as many as 31 points. For her efforts Gonzalez was named the Music City Star of the Game.

Cowan added 12 points and Yalonda Davis posted 10 for the Bulldogs, who ended a four-game losing streak with the victory.

Blue Mountain (4-10, 0-3) committed 22 turnovers, which Cumberland turned into 16 points, and the Lady Toppers were outscored, 42-24, in the paint. Joy Pierce was the only BMC in double figures, ending the contest with 20 points, including three 3-pointers.

The Bulldogs used two big runs in the first half to open a 42-30 advantage at intermission.

CU put together a 16-5 run early in the period to take a 20-12 lead, highlighted by a trio of 3-pointers from Landers. Cowan added a trifecta and Davis and Gonzalez each recorded baskets during the stretch.

Later in the half the Bulldogs scored 11 consecutive points, with Cowan making a pair of buckets to start the run. Landers added another 3-pointer and Gonzalez and Stephanie Martin both scored one basket, giving CU a 33-17 advantage.

Landers was 6-for-9 from the field and hit five 3-pointers for a career-best 17 points in the half, while Cowan added nine before the break. The Bulldogs outscored BMC, 22-10, in the paint.

In the second half the Bulldogs opened with a 15-5 run, with Gonzalez scoring the final eight points of the spurt. Tranisha Benton’s field goal with 4:53 remaining in the contest gave CU its biggest lead at 75-44.

Cumberland hosts rival Trevecca Nazarene on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 10th-ranked Bethel University on Monday at 6 p.m.