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CU women blast LWC 57-37 Thursday

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COLUMBIA, Ky. Cumberland forced 26 turnovers as the seventh-ranked Bulldogs posted a 57-37 victory over Lindsey Wilson here Thursday night at the Biggers Sports Center.

The CU women (17-1, 8-1 Mid-South) won the third of four straight contests on the road, limiting the Blue Raiders (12-6, 4-5) to just 32 percent shooting from the field. CU netted 24 points off the 26 LWC miscues and registered 11 steals.

Casie Cowan led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points (three 3-pointers) and Briannica Tye added 10 points and seven assists for the winners. Jessica Pace led a group of three players with eight points each and the senior grabbed a team-best seven rebounds. TaCouya Allen and Simone Ryan each posted eight points as well and London Elie recorded seven.

LWCs Ashley Rainey led all players with 17 points and 12 rebounds and Jasmine Brimm netted nine for the Blue Raiders, but Brimm committed 11 of the teams 26 turnovers. Lindsey Wilson made only 1-of-10 shots from behind the arc but hit 12-of-14 free throws compared to a 7-for-20 effort at the foul line for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs started fast, streaking out to a 15-2 advantage behind three 3-pointers one each from Josette Campbell, Tye and Allen as well as two buckets by Pace. Allens fastbreak layup forced a timeout by the Blue Raiders at the 12:20 mark, with LWC 0-for-5 from the field and six turnovers at that point.

But CU cooled off from the field and was a little sloppy with the basketball, allowing Lindsey Wilson back into the game. The home team put together a 13-4 run over a four-minute stretch in the latter part of the half that included field goals by Sarah Collins and Rainey as well as a 3-pointer from Tara Arnold. LWC also stayed in the game at the foul line, hitting 11-of-12 from the charity stripe in the period.

Cumberland finished the half strong though, with Cowan knocking down her second trifecta of the period and adding one free throw before two foul shots by Pace. Elie had a putback in the final minute and Allen kissed in a short jumper off the glass just before the halftime buzzer, giving the Bulldogs a 34-22 advantage at the break.

Allen and Cowan led the squad with seven points apiece and Pace and Simone Ryan each netted six, while Rainey netted eight points and Jasmine Brimm had seven for LWC, which finished 5-of-16 from the field in the half while the Bulldogs were 13-for-28.

The two teams played fairly even for the first five minutes of the second period before a 12-4 run by Cumberland put the game away. Ryan had a putback in the lane, Tye hit a layup and Cowan made a 3-pointer and an 18-footer. Paces bucket around the basket pushed the CU advantage to 55-34 with 6:42 remaining.

Cumberland ends the current four-game road trip with Saturdays contest at No. 9 Campbellsville University in the NAIA Game of the Week at the Powell Athletic Center.

Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. on the Campbellsville campus.

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