LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland started the second half on a 13-4 run to take the lead and Casie Cowan poured in a career-best 28 points, helping the Bulldogs to a 79-75 victory over Martin Methodist in women’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Cumberland (12-15, 4-10 TranSouth) ended a four-game losing streak with the victory and avenged a 70-63 defeat a month ago in Pulaski to the RedHawks (17-11, 6-8). Cowan also made up for a horrid shooting night Thursday at Bethel when she was held scoreless. For her efforts in the win, Cowan was named the Music City Star of the Game.
The Bulldogs trailed by five at halftime and Becca Smithson scored on a layup 26 seconds into the second half, but Ashley Whitmore’s bucket the next time down the floor for CU began the comeback for the home team on Senior Day. Four different players scored during the run, including another bucket from Whitmore, one of two seniors for Cumberland. Her layup with 18:22 to play put the Bulldogs ahead for good.
CU stretched the lead to 65-55 after a Cowan layup with 9:38 remaining and 71-60 with 6:41 left after another Whitmore bucket underneath. But the RedHawks scored nine consecutive points over a three-minute span to cut the Bulldog lead to one with 3:32 to play.
Yalonda Davis’ 3-pointer from the wing on CU’s next possession ended the Bulldog scoreless stretch, and Davis made two free throws with 18 seconds remaining to ice the game.
The biggest basket of the contest may have come on a desperation heave from the corner by Kristi Landers at the end of the shot clock. It came as the Bulldogs stretched their lead to double-digits in the middle of the half and gave the club some much-needed momentum at the time.
Davis finished the game with 17 points while Jessica Pace posted nine points and 10 rebounds. Whitmore added nine points and six boards and drew a huge charge in the final minute to thwart a possible Martin Methodist comeback.
Vee Young led MMC with 24 points, 16 in the first half, along with nine rebounds, while Jessy Christopher added 12 points and Micah Anderson netted 10.
The RedHawks shot just 35 percent from the field in the second half and committed 13 turnovers after shooting a blistering 57 percent in the first period.
Martin Methodist started the game quickly, taking a 14-7 lead six minutes into the contest behind 10 points from Young. The Bulldogs tied the game at 18 with 9:44 left in the half on a Whitmore free throw, the fourth of seven ties in the opening 20 minutes.
Despite 10 turnovers in the half, the RedHawks took a 42-37 advantage to intermission because of 57 percent shooting from the field. MMC made all three of its 3-point attempts and used a 9-2 spurt over the final two minutes to take the five-point edge at the break.
Cowan scored 12 points in the period for CU and Davis added nine.
Cumberland plays its final home game of the season Monday at 6 p.m. against Blue Mountain College.