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Pace's double-double leads CU romp
Dec 01, 2012 12:00 am
Lady Bulldogs now 9-0
Cumberland ended the first half on a 27-9 run and then held Bluefield without a point for the first nine minutes after the break in an 81-40 victory in women’s basketball action here Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
"That's been our basketball team to this point," said fourth-year Cumberland coach Jeremy Lewis, whose Lady Bulldogs enjoyed a 27-0 mid-game run to improve to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the Mid-South Conference. "We've almost done that in about every game we've played outside of one that we won in overtime. There's been a stretch in the game where our defense has been the big difference in the basketball game and we've done a good job of sitting on the other teams' tendencies."
Jessica Pace posted her 16th career double-double, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Josette Campbell and TaCouya Allen each netted 13 points and Simone Ryan added 12 points and seven boards off the bench. Briannica Tye handed out a team-best eight assists and Campbell added four assists, four steals and four blocks along with six rebounds.
Both teams started quickly, with Bluefield taking a 5-0 advantage two minutes into the contest on a 3-pointer by Monique Robson and a baseline jumper by Ashley White. CU quickly tied the game behind a pair of buckets from Pace and a trifecta by Campbell. White’s layup tied the game again at 11 with 14:40 to play in the period.
But Cumberland picked up its defense and outscored the visitors 27-9 the rest of the half, with the Rams making just 2-of-15 shots from the field after the first media timeout. The Bulldogs forced nine turnovers in the half and dominated the glass, outrebounding the visitors, 25-16, scoring 16 points in the paint.
Balanced scoring was the key during the CU spurt, with eight players scoring points, including six from Campbell and five with a 3-pointer by Tye.
The dry spell continued for the Rams (6-2, 2-1) after the break, with Bluefield missing its first 12 shots along with a pair of free throws before Tequila McNeal’s one foul shot with 10:45 left in the period ended the 27-0 run. Robson finally scored the club’s first bucket of the half at the 9:13 mark, but not before the Bulldogs had scored 23 consecutive points to begin the period, building 41-point lead.
Cumberland finished with a 42-10 advantage in the paint and held the Rams to just 29 percent shooting for the contest.
White recorded with 12 points to pace Bluefield while Robson added nine and Maryah Mazyck netted eight off the bench.
Cumberland does not play again for 15 days due to a scheduling quirk and finals for the student-athletes. The Bulldogs return to action Dec. 14-15 in the ninth annual Rosa Stokes Classic, facing Spelman and Berea.
In the meantime, the Lady Bulldogs can look back, if they choose to do so, look back on how this run got started as Lewis' rebuilding program if showing signs of paying off.
"It happened last season during conference," Lewis said. "We kind of turned the corner as a team. Everybody bought in.
"We had the core of our team coming back, a lot of returners from last season. We go 10-6 and finished third in the TranSouth last year. And you add in the transfers on top of what we had coming back - London [Elie], Bri[annica Tye] and Jo[sette Campbell] and TaCouya [Allen]. Those were the pieces that we were missing and it's taken us over the top at this point."
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 17; or by email at email@example.com