Senior Day turns into senior showcase for CU ladies

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 1, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Seniors TaCouya Allen and Casie Cowan both set career-highs in their final games, scoring 33 points each, and Allen added 13 rebounds, as Cumberland started quickly in both halves en route to an 84-66 victory over Rio Grande in women’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

Allen and Cowan netted 36 combined points in the first half, hitting 14 of 20 shots overall with six 3-pointers, and the club’s only two seniors kept up the good work after the break, both setting career-bests in the final minutes. Allen made 11-of-14 shots altogether and was 8-for-8 at the foul line for her 33 points, besting her previous high set earlier this year by six points. She added five assists and three steals as well.

Cowan likes playing the Red Storm, posting a career-high for the second straight meeting. She netted 31 points in Ohio in November and hit 12-of-23 field goals with four trifectas and was 5-for-7 at the foul line in the contest.

Calamity Jane Coley was the only other player in double figures for the Bulldogs, finishing with 12 points along with six rebounds, while Katie Smith grabbed seven boards before fouling out.

Brianna Thomas finished with 16 points to lead Rio Grande (18-12, 7-11), but the junior point guard has just three points in the second half. Brooke Marcum added 11 points and 13 boards for URG.

The two teams went back-and-forth in the first seven minutes, with Cowan hitting a pair of layups and Allen knocking down a 3-pointer, but Thomas had six points and Audra Clark’s bucket tied the game at 12. The Bulldogs then scored the next 12 points, with 3-pointers from Cowan bookending the run.

CU pushed the advantage to 31-17 with Allen’s second trifecta of the period and the club led 37-20 on Tasia Blue’s layup, but the Red Storm scored seven consecutive points, starting with a 3-pointer by Alexis Payne. Thomas and Clark added field goals during the mini-run, causing a timeout by Cumberland, but Cowan nailed her third 3-pointer of the half on the club’s next possession and Allen added another trifecta as well.

Coley’s layup with 1:12 remaining gave the Bulldogs a 45-31 advantage headed to the locker room. Cowan and Allen netted 36 of the team’s 45 points in the half, hitting 14 of 20 shots, including 6 for 8 from 3-point range.

Thomas posted 13 points for the Red Storm, but the rest of the club was just 7-of-24 from the field.

In the second half Cowan had three steals and three layups in the first three minutes, stretching the lead to 20, and her fourth steal and layup at the 12:16 mark made it a 59-39 contest, but the Red Storm registered a 14-4 run, including an old-fashioned 3-point play from Sarah Bonar and a trifecta by Sharday Baines. Kaylyn Gambill hit consecutive 3-pointers for Rio Grande, cutting the Bulldog lead to just 63-53 with 6:58 remaining.

Cowan answered with her final 3-pointer of the game, but Payne’s jumper at the 4:48 mark pulled URG within nine, its closest deficit since 8:42 of the first half. Allen came up with the big play this time for Cumberland, driving to the basket for the bucket and the foul.

The Red Storm got within nine once more with a Brooke Marcum steal and layup less than a minute later, but Cowan and Coley both hit layups and Allen had an old-fashioned 3-point play, putting the game away and breaking the club’s seven-game losing streak.

Gude, Brinkley lead season-ending win

Lester Gude netted a career-best 23 points, including four 3-pointers, and Lamar Brinkley added 12 points and 14 rebounds and Cumberland ended the season with a 73-66 victory over Rio Grande in men’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

Gude and Brinkley along with fellow seniors E.J. Perry, Terry Williams and Kenneth Stripling ended their Bulldog careers with a pair of victories, assuring a winning season for the program. Thursday’s win over Shawnee State ended an eight-game losing streak for the Bulldogs (14-13, 6-12 Mid-South).

Cumberland scored the first nine points of the game and then Gude netted nine straight with a pair of 3-pointersm, giving CU an 18-5 advantage with just over nine minutes to play in the first half. The Bulldogs held the double-digit lead through the remainder of the period and DeMario Frazier’s two free throws put the home team ahead, 36-22, at the break.

Gude posted 11 points in the half and the Bulldogs recorded 11 points off seven Rio Grande turnovers.

The Red Storm (16-13, 9-9) pulled within 10 on a D.D. Joiner 3-pointer three minutes into the second half, but layups by Brinkley and Moritz Dern and a jumper from Josh Wilkerson kept the lead in double figures. Stripling’s layup and one free throw from Dern gave Cumberland its biggest lead of the game, 53-37, with 10:13 remaining.

Rio Grande’s Jermaine Warmack, who finished with a game-high 26 points, scored the next nine for the Red Storm. Joiner made a layup and Warmack hit two more free throws, part of a 9-for-10 effort at the foul line, cutting the CU advantage back to 10 with 5:51 to play.

URG pressed the final six minutes of the game, causing several turnovers by the Bulldogs. Gude’s mistake led to a Warmack layup with 4:09 remaining, trimming the deficit to eight, but Gude made up for the mistake with a 3-pointer on the other end.

Evan Legg hit two free throws for Rio Grande before Warmack made a steal and converted another layup, making it a seven-point game with 2:35 left in the contest. Josh Wilkerson and Brinkley both converted two foul shots in the next minute, but Ricky Tisdale made all three free throws after a Gude foul with just under a minute to play.

Wilkerson turned the ball over for the Bulldogs and Warmack nailed a 3-pointer with 37.9 seconds to play pulled the Red Storm within 71-66, but Wilkerson added two more foul shots on the other end, sealing the victory for the Bulldogs.

Wilkerson finished with 16 points off the bench and Dern added eight rebounds for Cumberland. Joiner posted 12 points and Phillip Hertz netted 11 for Rio Grande.

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