LEBANON, Tenn. – Simone Ryan scored 17 points and Cumberland used a 12-2 run to start the second half to break open a close game, defeating Mid-Continent, 57-41, on Senior Day in women’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
With the win the Bulldogs (15-13, 10-6 TranSouth) secure the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament and will host a quarterfinal game on Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. against either Martin Methodist or Bethel University.
Mid-Continent (9-21, 4-12) scored the opening basket of the second half before Cumberland ran off 12 straight points, including consecutive 3-pointers from Tasia Blue. The Cougars committed four turnovers during the stretch and CU turned 13 second-half MCU miscues into 15 points, opening the lead to as many as 16 points in the first four minutes of the period.
Blue netted six straight points in the second half and the Bulldogs led 43-26 after a Katie Smith jumper with 14:15 remaining. MCU never pulled closer than 12 the rest of the game.
Blue finished with a career-best 13 points and Casie Cowan added 13 off the bench, as CU shot 47 percent from the field for the game, including 50 percent in the first half.
The game went back-and-forth through most of the opening half, with neither team leading by more than three points plus four ties and five lead changes. The Bulldogs finally put some ground between them and the Cougars with a 12-2 run after the midway point.
Ryan and Cowan scored all 12 points during the stretch, with Ryan netting eight, including six straight. Cowan’s jumper near the free throw line gave the Bulldogs a 25-18 lead and CU took a 27-21 edge to intermission.
Ryan netted 11 points in the period while the Cougars made just 7-of-24 from the field but still trailed by just six.