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CU women fall to Univ. of the Cumberlands 65-44

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LEBANON - Lauren Wombles scored 23 points to lead 14th-ranked University of the Cumberlands to a 65-44 womens basketball win over Cumberland University in the 8th annual Rosa Stokes Classic Friday afternoon at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

The Bulldogs (3-7) fell behind by as many as 15 points in the first half and by a dozen early in the second half before putting together a 12-4 run to pull within 34-30 with 11:07 remaining.

Tamara Gonzalez hit a 3-pointer and another field goal and Jessica Pace ended the spurt with a short jumper. It was the closest CU had been in the contest since trailing 5-2.

But the Patriots (12-1) answered with a 3-pointer from Wombles and a jumper in the lane by Jade Howard and pushed the advantage back to 10 points quickly. UC made 13-of-17 shots from the field, 3-of-4 at the foul line and had just two turnovers in the final 11 minutes, pulling away for its 10th consecutive victory.

Pace posted her second double-double and fourth double-figure rebounding game of the season with 11 points and 10 boards for the Bulldogs, but CU shot just 39 percent from the field, including 23 percent in the first half.

Casie Cowan and Simone Ryan each netted eight points for CU but Cowan accounted for six of the clubs 23 turnovers in the loss.

Haley Ratliff hit three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points along with seven rebounds for UC. The Patriots also scored 29 points off turnovers, including 17 in the first half.

Cowan and Ryan both scored six points for the Bulldogs while Ratliff led all scorers with nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Cumberland opens TranSouth Conference action January 5 at Lyon College and hosts second-ranked Freed-Hardeman in league action January 7 at 2 p.m.

ON THURSDAY -- Simone Ryan grabbed a career-best 15 rebounds and Kristi Landers led three players in double figures with 13 points, as Cumberland outlasted Purdue University-Calumet, 62-53 in womens basketball action at the 8th Annual Rosa Stokes Classic Thursday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

The Bulldogs (3-6) won their fourth consecutive game at home dating to last season in just their second contest of the year at the DFRC. Jessica Pace recorded her first double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Tamara Gonzalez added 12 points in the victory.

Cumberland started the contest very slowly but took the lead with a 17-4 run to end the first half. The Bulldogs opened an 11-point advantage after a jumper from Casie Cowan with 13:06 remaining, but the Peregrines (11-6) reeled off 11 consecutive points to tie the game at 41. Nine of the 11 points came at the foul line for PUC, which finished 26-of-33 at the charity stripe.

A field goal from Landers ended an almost four-minute drought for CU and the two teams went back-and-forth for the next six minutes, with Cumberland pushing its lead back to six before Brooklyn Short nailed a 3-pointer and then completed an old fashioned 3-point play to tie the game at 51.

Again Landers put the Bulldogs ahead, this time for good, finishing a backdoor cut on an assist from Cowan with 2:57 to play. Landers and Gonzalez made three free throws apiece down the stretch to put the game away, as PUC missed all seven of its shots over the final three minutes.

Short led the Peregrines with 21 points, including 10-for-10 at the foul line, while Alex Starr added 16. Short also led PUC with nine rebounds and Amanda Gaskin grabbed eight caroms.

The Peregrines built a 21-12 advantage after a 3-pointer from Starr with 8:16 remaining in the first half, but the Bulldogs responded with a 17-4 spurt to end the period. Tasia Blue started the run with a trifecta from the top of the key and Courtney Atkinson added three driving layups during the stretch.

Landers ended the run with a 3-pointer from the right corner, giving CU a 29-25 advantage. CU had one last chance to add to the lead before the half, but Paces two attempts in the lane both missed just before the buzzer.

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