Blue Mountain went into the locker room with a one-point lead after Renell Collins drained a 3-pointer from the left corner at the buzzer. The trey capped a 10-2 run for the Toppers to close out the half. Collins scored 21 of BMC’s 42 first-half points and finished with 28 to lead the visitors.
Cumberland built a lead as large as nine points in the opening half, scoring 10 straight points. CU held at least a five-point advantage for the next eight minutes but missed five of its last eight shots of the half. Lindal Yarbrough was the fourth Bulldog in double figures, scoring 11 points in his CU debut.
IN THURSDAY NIGHT'S OPENER -- Ashley Whitmore, Angie Wells and Keshia Brown all scored 13 points and Whitmore grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds, leading the Cumberland women to a 67-57 victory over Blue Mountain.
Allysia Bailey added 11 points for Cumberland (7-5, 1-2 TranSouth), which shot just 37 percent from the floor but forced 18 turnovers, turning those into 21 points. The Bulldogs also outscored the Lady Toppers (7-9, 0-2), 26-8, in the paint and limited BMC to just 30 percent shooting from the field. Blue Mountain was just 8-for-31 from 3-point range as well.
Cumberland used a 12-2 run over the final three minutes to take a 14-point lead at halftime, including a length-of-the-floor drive and layup from Wells at the buzzer. Wells scored all six of her points in the period during the stretch, starting the spurt at 3:11 with a layup and adding a pair of buckets in the final 30 seconds.
The Lady Bulldogs held a lead of greater than nine points except for 20 seconds in the middle of the second half after a BMC 3-pointer from Kala Morris. CU pushed its advantage to as many as 17 points late in the game.
Cumberland's teams continue conference play Saturday when they square off against rival Trevecca Nazarene in Nashville. Women's action tips-off at 2 p.m.