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Second-half rally sends CU to championship
Mar 05, 2013 4:30 pm
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Jessica Pace posted her seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds and sixth-ranked Cumberland held No. 18 Campbellsville to just five field goals in the second half, overcoming a nine-point deficit in a 59-46 victory here Sunday in the final of the Mid-South Championships at the Frankfort Convention Center.
The Bulldogs (30-2) claimed their first Mid-South Conference tournament title since 1999, turning up the defensive pressure after a subpar first half. Campbellsville shot just 22 percent in the second half and committed eight turnovers, which CU turned into 10 points.
Pace’s old-fashioned 3-point play with 5:28 remaining gave Cumberland the lead for good and guard Casie Cowan, who struggled greatly in the first half after starting point guard Briannica Tye picked up her second and third fouls, came through with seven consecutive points, including a 3-pointer from the wing that put CU ahead 48-39 with 3:03 remaining.
From there the Bulldogs iced the game at the foul line, connecting on 9-of-10 free throws in the final 2:12. TaCouya Allen also registered a double-double with 12 points and 11 board and Cowan finished with 10 points with a pair of trifectas, breaking out of her shooting slump at just the right time.
Cumberland trailed 28-20 at the half and inched its way back into the contest. Katie Allen’s 3-pointer from the corner put the Tigers (24-9) up 34-25 with 15:43 remaining, but CU answered with a 10-0 run highlighted by four points from Pace and Allen’s driving layup that gave the Bulldogs a 35-34 advantage.
The teams played even for the next five minutes until Pace took a pass on the left block, went to the goal, made the bucket and got the foul, converting at the charity stripe for a 42-39 advantage. Allen had a steal and layup and Simone Ryan hit the front end of a 1-plus-1 before Cowan’s trifecta from the wing put CU ahead, 48-39.
Daizah Kimberland, who led the Tigers with 13 points off the bench, made one free throw and Mary Jehlik grabbed the rebound and converted on Campbellsville’s next possession, but Cowan hit both ends of the 1-and-1 and then on a breakaway, stopped and popped from 10 feet for a 52-42 lead with 1:46 to play.
Allen finished with 11 points, as did Courtney Clifton, but Campbellsville made just 5-of-13 from 3-point range and the Bulldogs won the battle of the boards, 45-27.
The Bulldogs started well, with Allen knocking down two 3-pointers and grabbing four rebounds in the first eight minutes of the contest. Pace added a layup and Ryan had a short jumper and the Bulldogs led 12-7 with 14:07 left in the period.
Yalonda Davis hit a layup before CU made just one field goal over an almost nine-minute stretch. The Tigers took advantage, putting together an 18-5 run over the final 11 minutes of the half. Clifton nailed a 3-pointer and added a layup and Kimberland’s steal and layup put Campbellsville ahead, 25-17, with 3:08 left in the period.
Pace’s putback ended the scoring drought for CU, but the senior made just 1-of-4 free throws in the last 2:51. Allen’s 3-pointer with 1:20 on the clock gave the Tigers a 28-20 lead at intermission.
Cumberland started the half 8-of-14 from the field but made just 2-of-13 shots and committed seven turnovers in the last 11 minutes. By comparison Campbellsville made 42 percent of its shots in the period and the Tigers also netted 11 points off 10 CU turnovers, a stat usually reversed for the Bulldogs.
Cumberland will find out at 6 p.m. Wednesday whom and at what time it will play in the opening round of the 33rd annual NAIA National Championships, which begin March 13 in Frankfort.
Tye's jumper sends Bulldogs into championship
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Briannica Tye’s baseline floater with 6.5 seconds left was the game-winner, as No. 6 Cumberland erased a 13-point first-half-deficit and survived another heavyweight finish with 13th-ranked Shawnee State, 60-59, in the semifinals of the Mid-South Conference Championships here Saturday at the Frankfort Convention Center.
The Bulldogs won the grudge match with the Bears (23-9) after SSU won in overtime in Lebanon, 61-59, on February 14. The three contests this season between the teams were decided by a grand total of eight points.
Cumberland started the game terribly, missing 10 consecutive shots after Jessica Pace’s layup just 21 seconds into the game. The Bulldogs trailed 23-11 with 8:07 left in the half after Schera Sampson’s second 3-pointer, forcing the second timeout by CU head coach Jeremy Lewis.
Tye’s midrange jumper with 5:49 to play in the half started a 28-8 run over the next nine minutes covering both halves. Yalonda Davis, who scored all 12 of her points in the first half, netted seven points before intermission and Josette Campbell’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 16:49 remaining in the game put the Bulldogs ahead, 39-32.
Simone Ryan’s putback pushed the lead to nine with 14:19 left in the contest, but too many empty trips on the offensive end allowed the Bears back into the game. Alannah Sheets made a layup and a 3-pointer and added another trifecta. Alex Pohl’s layup at the 8:54 mark gave Shawnee State a 50-48 advantage.
The Bears built a five-point edge after Abby Feuchter’s 3-pointer from the wing and another Sampson bucket. Cumberland did not score a field goal for more than seven minutes, but hit 6-of-9 free throws to stay within striking distance. Pace’s bucket on the baseline with 1:11 to play ended the field goal drought and pulled the Bulldogs within 59-58.
Shawnee State’s Desirai Smith missed a tough layup chance under the goal and Pace grabbed the rebound, setting up the final possession. Campbell drove to the lane but the ball was knocked out of bounds by the Bears, giving CU the ball with 14.9 seconds left and nine on the shot clock.
The play broke down and Tye made something out of nothing, driving past Smith on the right baseline and hitting a 10-foot leaner with 6.5 seconds left. The Bears dribbled up the floor but Sampson’s 30-footer at (or just after the buzzer) fell short, preserving the win for Cumberland.
Pace finished with 16 points, 12 in the second while, while Tye added 14 points with a pair of 3-pointers, three assists and three steals. Davis kept the Bulldogs in the game in the first half with her 12 points and the senior added four assists, two steals and two rebounds in 22 minutes of action, making all six of her free throw attempts as well.
Ryan also played well off the bench for the second straight game, registering nine points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes.
Sampson was 10-for-19 from the field for 27 points along with 11 rebounds, though just two boards in the second half. Sheets scored 11 points and Pohl had 10 and seven boards, but she played only 23 minutes because of foul trouble.
The Bulldogs could not have started the game much worse, with Pace making the club’s first shot of the game before 10 consecutive misses while the Bears were 9-of-18 from the field and SSU led 23-11 with 8:05 left in the first half. Sampson hit a pair of trifectas and netted 10 points in the opening 12 minutes while Pohl added eight.
Tye’s jumper at the 13:36 mark ended the field goal drought for Cumberland, but the club continued to struggle until Tye’s 3-pointer with 5:49 to play ended a scoreless stretch of over four minutes. That ignited a 16-3 spurt to end the period that featured seven points by Davis and four each for Tye and Ryan.
Davis’ layup with 2:06 left in the half tied the contest at 27, but Smith hit a 3-pointer from the corner just before intermission to put the Bears ahead, 30-27. London Elie scored the first points of the second half and Pace’s field goal at 18:53 of the second half was CU’s first lead since 2-0.
Tye added a 3-pointer before a putback by Elie and Campbell’s trifecta put the Bulldogs up, 39-32.