|January 12, 2023||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TMU||CU|
|FG Percentage||.375 (21-56)||.423 (22-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.269 (7-26)||.375 (3-8)|
|FT Percentage||.727 (16-22)||.722 (13-18)|
- 22||Kayla Gordon
Zoie Barth - 6
Emily Simon - 6
- 3||Abby Morgan
- 3||Keara Sexton
- 3||Britany Miller
LEBANON, Tenn.--Cumberland gave No. 1 Thomas More a scare, but the Saints pulled it out in the end defeating Cumberland 65-60 at the Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena on Thursday.
Cumberland (9-8, 5-7 MSC) gave the defending national champions all the could handle while short-handed. Cumberland built up a 15-point second half lead, but the Saints held Cumberland to just 19 points in the second half to stay unbeaten.
The Phoenix shot 42.3% from the field and made three triples out of eight tries. The Phoenix controlled the glass, out-rebounding the Saints 42-30.
Kayla Gordon was the lone Phoenix in double-figures finishing with 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting. She added five rebounds. Britany Miller and Alaina Rongos each posted nine points before both of them fouled out. Iya Jones scored eight off the bench. Making her first career start, Lauren King scored seven as well as point guard Keara Sexton.
Thomas More (18-0, 12-0 MSC) went 21-of-56 from the field to shot 37.5%, but the Saints knocked down seven threes and went 16-of-22 from the free throw line.
Courtney Hurts had a huge night going for 22 points on five made threes. Rylee Turner scored 11 points with six boards and Zoie Barth and Maggie Jones each added 10 points.
Thomas More started the game with a triple from Hurst and an and-one conversion from Turner. Gordon scored the first two to stop the 6-0 run. After Hurst made a jumper, Rongos scored the next four points for Cumberland to make it a two-point game, 8-6.
Cumberland would tie it at 10-10 on a Sexton basket, but the Saints would respond with another three from Hurst and an and-one from Maggie Jones for another 6-0 run. The Phoenix answered with a 7-0 run to claim their first lead at 17-16. On the run, Gordon converted an and-one and hit a layup and Jones made a jumper. The Saints drained a three and Jones made a two for a 19-19 game after the first.
The Phoenix had a great second quarter doubling Thomas More’s total for the period 22-11. Cumberland jumped up quickly with an and-one conversion from King and CU rolled that into a five-point lead at the media up 29-24.
Cumberland closed the half on a 14-2 run to take a huge 11-point lead into half, 41-30.
The Phoenix came out of the break with the same intensity they brought in the first half as King nailed a triple and CU worked it out to a 15-point lead, Cumberland’s largest of the game, but the No. 1 Saints had an answer going on an 11-0 run over the next three minutes of game time to cut it to 50-46 with 5:25 left in the quarter.
Cumberland held Thomas More scoreless for the rest of the quarter, but were only able to score three points on an Abby Morgan three for a 53-46 score headed to the fourth.
The Saints trailing by seven in the fourth made it hard for Cumberland to put the ball in the basket. Thomas More scored the first seven points of the quarter to tie the game for the first time since the end of the first quarter. Jones made a tough two in the lane while getting fouled to push Cumberland back on top, but again the Saints responded with a 6-0 run to go up by four, 59-55 with 3:32 left.
Kennedy Powell made a tough layup to make the score 60-58 in the closing minutes, but the Saints knocked down their free throws down the stretch to get the five point win.
Cumberland will remain at home this Saturday to take on Wilberforce. The game is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. with the pregame show on the Cumberland Sports Network will begin 15 minutes before tip.