Bulldogs falter in second half at FHU
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Bulldogs falter in second half at FHU
Casie Cowan netted a season-high 21 points in CU's 57-46 loss Saturday at Freed-Hardeman. (Credit Steve Wampler)

HENDERSON, Tenn. – Casie Cowan scored a season-high 21 points, but Cumberland made just 6-of-21 field goals and committed 13 turnovers in the second half in falling to second-ranked Freed-Hardeman, 57-46, in women’s basketball action here Saturday at the Brewer Sports Center.

Cumberland (10-12, 5-5 TranSouth) led 31-22 at the half but turned the ball over on four of its first seven possessions of the second period. The Lions (21-3, 9-1) tied the game at 37 on two free throws by Natalie Shumpert, who finished with a game-high 34 points, and FHU reeled of a 12-1 spurt to take control of the game.

Maria Bagwell hit an unexpected 3-pointer from the corner and Shumpert followed with three deep trifectas, the final two inside the two-minute mark, as FHU pulled away late for the victory.

The Bulldogs were whistled for 19 fouls in the game, 12 in the second half, compared to nine for the entire 40 minutes for the Lions. FHU also won the battle of the boards, 39-31, including 15 offensive boards.

Courtney Atkinson added nine points for CU but missed much of the second half with foul trouble, while Cumberland played all but a few seconds of the second period without lone senior Tamara Gonzalez, who was injured less than two minutes into the half.

Atkinson had two buckets and a 3-pointer in the first 10 minutes of the opening half but was matched by Shumpert, who scored nine of her team’s first 14 points. Cowan took over from there for CU, netting a trifecta at the 12:47 mark of the period and pouring in five more baskets in the half, the last two on fastbreak layups.

Samantha Harper’s steal and layup with 1:35 to play gave CU a 31-22 advantage and the Bulldogs survived five attempts by the Lions on their next trip down the floor, taking the nine-point lead to intermission.

Cowan and Atkinson combined to make 9-of-13 field goals while Shumpert was 6-for-12 and the rest of the FHU team hit only 3-of-18 in the period.

Cumberland heads to Blue Mountain on Thursday at 6 p.m. before hosting rival Trevecca Nazarene next Saturday at 2 p.m.