LEBANON -- When the tempo of the game picks up, Cumberland’s Brittany Cash is money. The former White County High star came off the bench for 18 points, including 17 in the second half, as CU opened the season with an 86-40 basketball win over Hiwassee Monday at the Dallas Floyd Center.
Cash rang up 13 points in a six minute stretch midway through the second half while Cumberland was busy holding Hiwassee scoreless during a 19-0 run.
The game marked first career victory for CU head coach Jeremy Lewis, a former Bulldog player and assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s programs.
"I was really pleased with our effort on the defensive end," Lewis said. "If we’re going to be competitive in this league -- we’ve got to bust it every possession on defense."
Cumberland held a 14-point halftime lead and outscored the Tigers, 48-16, after the break, including 17 points from Cash, who hit a trio of 3-pointers and 5-of-6 at the foul line.
All told, four CU players scored in double figures, including 13 points from Stephanie Martin and 10 by Ashley Whitmore. Simone Ryan posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Cumberland plays at Austin Peay next Monday and Samford next Tuesday, both exhibition games.
CU men fade in second half -- A double-double by Brandon Springer (23 points, 11 rebounds) wasn’t enough to lift Cumberland over Hiwassee in Monday’s nightcap. The Bulldogs blew an 11-point lead in the second half and fell to 0-2 on the season with an 81-77 loss to the Tigers.
Cumberland led its home opener 64-53 with less than eight minutes to play in the contest when the Tigers went on a 15-5 run to cut the deficit to a single point.
The two teams swapped buckets on the next four possessions before Nashville native Adrian Williamson hit 1-of-2 free throws to put CU up by two with 1:50 to play.
On the Tigers’ next trip down the court, Nick Hudson drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to give Hiwassee its first lead since the 3:56 mark of the first half. Adrian McLaurin’s layup off a Bulldog turnover added to the visitors’ lead, which Cumberland was never able to erase.
The Bulldogs were plagued by poor shooting in the second half, going 14-of-37 from the floor, including 0-for-7 from 3-point range, and making only one jump shot.
Of Cumberland’s 34 second-half points, 26 came from layups and six were from the free throw line, which was another source of inconsistency as the Bulldogs made only 12 of their 26 shots from the charity stripe on the night.
Williamson finished with 20 points for the Bulldogs who return to action next Tuesday when they entertain Oakwood University at 7 p.m.