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Red-hot Lambuth shoots down CU
Mar 03, 2007 12:00 am
JACKSON — Hours after moving up a notch in the NAIA women's basketball poll, No. 12 Cumberland found itself trailing a Lambuth team looking to better its No. 19 ranking before the national tournament.
The Lady Eagles sank eight first-half three-pointers to build a big lead and eventually send the Lady Bulldogs off on a two-week hiatus 88-63 in the opening round of the TranSouth Conference tournament Wednesday night.
Lambuth hit 8 of 15 first-half three-pointers and 17 of 32 field goals [.531] to lead 47-23 at halftime.
Cumberland came off the canvas in the second half but Lambuth still shot .519 after the break to improve to 22-8 and advance to Friday's semifinal.
The Lady Bulldogs will hold a 23-7 mark for two weeks until they return to Jackson in two weeks for their third straight NAIA National Tournament. Final seedings will be determined in a week after the conference tournaments have concluded with the brackets drawn for the nationals.
Cumberland may have been lost in the Forrest – the six three-pointers of Lambuth's Kelly Forrest, that is – as she tossed in 20 points, one fewer than teammate Megan Fuqua's 21. Reggie Maddox added 18 and Dee Preyer 13.
C'Kala Humes fired in 14 points for Cumberland while Kiana Robinson and Renae Williams each threw in 13. Tomika Hall added eight, Keisha Forrest four, Ewa Bukowska and Kari Maddox three apiece, Isabelli Cunico and Mariel Ruis two each and Ashley Cross a free throw.
Lambuth also controlled the glass 39-28 as Maddox and Jodi Gunter each notched nine caroms. Maddox supplied six assists, a total matched by Cumberland's Cross.
The TSC men's tournament resumes at 7 p.m. tonight with the same two schools – Cumberland and Lambuth – hooking up at the Eagles' Athletic Center. Unlike the women, CU's men will have to win the conference tourney to advance to the NAIA Nationals in Kansas City later this month. The Eagles plummeted nine spots to No. 18 in the men's poll Wednesday with a 24-6 mark while the unranked Bulldogs are 15-14.