|CU women topple Bethel Monday|
|Saturday, January 14, 2012|
MCKENZIE -- Cumberland's Courtney Atkinson’s layup with 45.4 seconds remaining put her team ahead and Atkinson and Tamara Gonzalez added free throws in the final 18 seconds, sealing a 62-58 victory for the Lady Bulldogs over Bethel in women’s basketball action Monday night at Dishman Gymnasium.
CU (5-10, 2-3 TranSouth) were finally able to close out a close game, this time knocking down foul shots in the final minute after missing those chances at the charity stripe on Saturday at Trevecca Nazarene.
Atkinson’s driving layup on an assist from Casie Cowan with 45.4 seconds left put the Bulldogs ahead 58-56. Kelsey Hamilton missed a 3-pointer from the wing for the Wildcats (9-9, 1-3) and Gonzalez grabbed the rebound. After a pair of fouls by BU, Atkinson calmly knocked down one plus the bonus with 18.4 seconds remaining for a 60-56 advantage.
Gonzalez missed the front end of the bonus after another miss by the Wildcats before Jana Roney, who led Bethel with 22 points, scored with 3.7 seconds left. Gonzalez was fouled again and this time made both shots for the final margin.
Simone Ryan paced the Bulldogs with 14 points and six rebounds, while Gonzalez added 12 points and eight boards and Atkinson also had a dozen points along with five caroms.
The Wildcats started the game on fire, hitting 65 percent (11-for-17) at the second media timeout, with BU leading 33-24. Roney netted 15 points in the half, making 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 at the foul line. But Bethel made just eight of its final 35 shots from the field, as Cumberland played a 2-3 zone the entire second half, neutralizing Roney and forcing jump-shooters into scoring roles.
Gonzalez kept the Bulldogs in the game early, scoring eight points with a pair of 3-pointers in the first seven minutes and finishing the half with 10 points. Ryan netted five of her eight points in the period in the final six minutes and the junior missed another jumper in traffic just before the half, as Cumberland trailed 37-29 at the break.
The Bulldogs take on third-ranked Union University at home on Thursday at 6 p.m. and hosts Martin Methodist at 2 p.m. on Saturday.