PULASKI, Tenn. – Simone Ryan scored 16 points and Casie Cowan added nine, as Cumberland went scoreless for the first 11 minutes of the game but pulled out a 38-37 victory over Martin Methodist here Saturday at the Curry Christian Life Center.
Cumberland (14-13, 9-6 TranSouth) did not score until the 8:55 mark of the first half and shot just 23 percent from the field in the contest, but CU made 9-of-12 foul shots in the second half, including 6-for-7 in the final two minutes, and squeaked out the win to remain in third place in the TranSouth Conference with just one game remaining in the regular season.
Ryan and Cowan were a combined 10-for-22 from the field while the rest of the squad made only 3-of-44 shots, including a 1-for-10 effort by Jessica Pace. But the junior grabbed nine rebounds, handed out three assists and made both ends of a 1-and-1 with 1:07 remaining.
Cowan scored all nine of her points after halftime, including a 3-pointer with 10:22 to play that put CU ahead for good. MMC’s Vee Young made one free throw with 3:01 left to tie the game at 30, but Ryan knocked down two foul shots on the other end and Cowan’s jumper from the foul line made it a four-point game with 2:31 left.
But the RedHawks (17-11, 6-8) would not go away on their home floor, with Young making two more free throws before Micah Anderson’s runner in the lane hit the back of the rim and bounced in. Pace was fouled on the other end and hit the 1-and-1 before Anderson’s shot in the lane was off. MMC’s Rachel Brown missed the putback and a tie ball went to the Bulldogs.
Tamara Gonzalez made two foul shots with 14.4 seconds left for a four-point edge for CU and Jessy Christopher’s 3-pointer from deep was good on MMC’s next trip, but Gonzalez dribbled out the clock for Cumberland’s 11th victory in the last 15 games.
Young led the RedHawks with 11 points, but MMC shot just 23 percent for the game as well.
The Bulldogs started the game 0-for-17 from the field with six turnovers and did not score until the 8:55 mark on a layup by Ryan. Martin Methodist wasn’t much better, making only four field goals during that span, as CU trailed 12-0 before Ryan’s bucket.
Ryan scored again 50 seconds later and Gonzalez knocked down a 3-pointer 50 seconds after that. Pace’s field goal with 2:24 left in the half tied the game at 14. Young hit two free throws for the RedHawks with 1:29 remaining before the break and MMC took a 16-14 edge at the half.
The RedHawks did not score a field goal over the final 10:21 of the period, making four free throws during that stretch for their only points. CU outscored the home team, 14-4, to end the half. The teams combined to make just 10-of-60 from the field with 17 turnovers in the half.
Cumberland does not play again until next Saturday, hosting Mid-Continent in the regular season finale. Gonzalez along with seven men’s players will be honored between games for Senior Day.