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Lady Bulldogs press into Sweet 16
Mar 21, 2007 12:00 am
JACKSON — Bright eyed and bushy tailed, Cumberland's women team woke up and established their tempo over Oklahoma Baptist in a 72-58 victory in the NAIA National Tournament on Thursday morning at Oman Arena.
Playing in the first game of the day at 9 a.m., Cumberland closed the first half with a 13-2 run to lead 35-29 at halftime and the Lady Bulldogs were in front the rest of the way as they advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons with a 24-7 record.
"It was a big win for our program," said Cumberland coach Clint Mason, whose No. 3 seed Lady Bulldogs will play at 12:30 p.m. today against No. 2 seed Lewis-Clark [Idaho] State. "We came out with defensive intensity. We were pushing the ball in transition. Our kids were really focused. They came out with energy."
Oklahoma Baptist used runs of 12-4 and 12-2 to get back in the game in the second half. The Lady Bison climbed to within 48-45 midway through the half before the Lady Bulldogs used a 15-4 spurt over the next four minutes to put the game away.
It was the Lady Bulldog bench which rode to the rescue. Isabelli Cunico tossed in two three-pointers on her way to 20 points and shared rebounding honors with seven. Kari Maddox also came off the pine for 10 points, seven caroms, three assists, three blocked shots and two steals.
Among the starters, Renae Williams sank 7 of 8 free throws on her way to 12 points and three blocks while C'Kala Humes had 11 points and a couple of steals.
Kiana Robinson notched nine points while point guard Ashley Cross supplied six points and seven assists. Tomika Hall had four points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Betsy Simmons supplied 16 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma Baptist while Dilenny Castillo connected on 6 of 7 free throws on her way to 15.Jennifer Jupin finished with 14 as the Lady Bison finished a 17-13 season.
Lewis-Clark State next
Two schools noted for their baseball prowess will meet in today's second round. Lewis-Clark State was ranked No. 2 in the final NAIA poll before losing the Frontier Conference final to Carroll [Mont.].
The Lady Warriors beat Columbia [Mo.] 86-66 Thursday morning to improve to 30-2. Their other loss came to NCAA Division II Seattle Pacific, coached by former Trevecca coach Julie Van Beek.
Janeen Nelson scored 17 points, Ashley Baker and Terri Wittmer each finished with 15 and Jade Fulbright 10 for Lewis-Clark against Columbia in the game played immediately after Cumberland's victory.
Mason said the Lady Warriors run a 2-2-1 fullcourt press and a 2-3 halfcourt zone.
"They have an outstanding post player, nice point guard and two good wings," Mason said.