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Lady Dawgs upend No. 5 team
Nov 29, 2006 12:00 am
It wasn't exactly the glass ceiling Clint Mason was looking for his Cumberland women to break, but it was the same kind of barrier.
Mason's No. 13 Lady Bulldogs won the third annual Rosa Stokes Classic on Saturday with an 87-75 upset of No. 5 Houston Baptist at the Dallas Floyd Center. The Lady Bulldogs had lost to the Huskies 86-59 in the second round of the NAIA National Tournament at Jackson in 2005.
"After losing to them by 20-something points two years ago, it was a good win," Cumberland coach Clint Mason said Monday night while traveling to Georgetown, Ky., where the 5-0 Lady Bulldogs will take on No. 18 Georgetown College at 5 p.m. CST tonight. "It ranks with one of the biggest wins since I've been here.
"It was one of those Trevecca-, Freed(-Hardeman)-, Union-type wins we've been looking for (in the TranSouth Conference) to build on so we can build a lot of confidence."
Tomika Hall sank 7 of 10 shots from the floor to lead five Lady Bulldogs in double figures with 16 points.
But it was point guard Ashley Cross who dribbled away with the Most Valuable Player award. The 5-5 senior from Clarksville had eight assists and no turnovers, routine numbers for her. But 12 points were well above par.
And Kiana Robinson made her Cumberland debut demonstrating the skills which led legendary Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma to sign her. Coming off a knee injury, she sank three of the Lady Bulldogs' 13 three-pointers, notching 11 points and three assists in 19 minutes.
"As soon as she came in, she gave us competitive playing experience," Mason said of Robinson, who had a steal, a tip ball and a three-pointer in her first two minutes on the court. "She gave us a lift. She made some big plays."
Isabelli Cunico finished with 14 points, C'Kala Humes 11 and Renae Williams nine. Hall and Williams were named to the All-Tournament team.
"We had a lot of players step up," Mason said. "It was a team effort.
"We shot the ball extremely well from outside. Everybody contributed."
The teams jockeyed back and forth for much of the first half until Cumberland used laser-accurate shooting from outside to go up 44-39 by halftime.
After tonight's tilt at Georgetown, the Lady Bulldogs return to the Floyd Center for the CU Classic on Friday and Saturday. Cumberland will take on No. 19 Mobile at 6 p.m. Friday and College of the Ozarks, the NAIA Division II runner-up last year and ranked No. 5 this season, at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"We're in the middle of a test," Mason said of the current run of games. "We're trying to complete five games in eight days, four against ranked opponents."
Cumberland's men, who play an exhibition tonight at Kentucky Wesleyan, will also compete in the Classic. The Bulldogs will take on Ohio State-Mansfield at 8 p.m. Friday and Auburn-Montgomery at 6 p.m. Saturday.