BLUEFIELD, Va. – Tasia Blue knocked down five 3-pointers and netted a career-best 17 points, but 20th-ranked Cumberland shot just 34 percent from the field in a 74-56 loss to Bluefield College Thursday night at the Dome Gymnasium.
The CU women (7-6, 3-2 Mid-South) gave up 16 offensive rebounds to the Rams, which the home team turned into 18 points, and Bluefield netted 38 points in the paint in the contest. Asia Wheeler did the damage in the first half, netting 13 points, and Janee Simmons was the culprit after the break, scoring 16 of her 19 points in the paint and on the offensive glass.
Bluefield backed off Blue, daring the junior guard to shoot from behind the arc. She hit 5-of-14 from 3-point range in the contest but the Bulldogs made just 8-for-29 from deep in the loss, including 1-of-6 by Casie Cowan and 1-of-5 from TaCouya Allen.
Despite the struggles, Cumberland trailed 46-40 after Blue’s fourth 3-pointer of the game with 12:26 remaining in the game, but a 13-3 run by the Rams forced a timeout from the Bulldogs, with Bluefield taking its biggest lead of the contest.
Wheeler netted six points during the spurt and then Simmons posted six straight points, with BC expanding the lead to 20 points after a baseline jumper from Destiny Tolliver with 2:25 remaining in the game.
Allen finished with 11 points and seven rebounds and Cowan added 10 points despite hitting just 3-of-14 shots from the field.
Wheeler finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds while Simmons chipped in 14 boards to go with her 19 points. Teqa McNeal added 10 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Rams as well.
The Bulldogs made just 2-of-10 shots from the field in the first nine minutes of the game and the Rams took advantage, with Alexis Grant hitting a pair of jumpers and netting six points, as Bluefield jumped out to a 14-7 lead.
Cowan’s jumper at 9:41 in the period ended a five-minute drought without a field goal for CU and Allen knocked down a 3-pointer with 7:32 left before the break, pulling Cumberland within 20-16. But Wheeler took over for BC, recording seven points in just over a minute, including a pair of putbacks, for a 29-18 advantage with 3:22 remaining in the period.
Layce Colter nailed a 3-pointer from the corner and Katie Smith added two foul shots before a trifecta by Blue, but Tolliver’s layup just before the buzzer gave the Rams a 34-26 advantage at the break.
Cumberland heads to the University of Pikeville on Saturday for a 1 p.m. Central Time contest before returning home Thursday, Jan. 16 to face Lindsey Wilson.