Lebanon, Tenn. – The Patriot women’s basketball team (3-8, 0-3 MSC) suffered a tough loss tonight when they dropped a 54-46 decision on the road against Mid-South Conference foe and 12th ranked Cumberland (Tenn.).
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm offensively as the two combined to shot 37-of-105 from the field (35 percent). Cumberland (8-2, 1-1 MSC) finished the night shooting 35 percent and St. Catharine shot 34 percent for the game. The struggles continued from long range where the Patriots finished 3-for-12 (25 percent) and Bulldogs hit 1-of-10 (10 percent).
The Patriots had just two players score in double figures for the contest. Sasha Ruiz-Lopez (Ft. Myers, Fla.) and Patrice Tonge (Lebanon, Ky.) scored 10 points apiece to lead St. Catharine.
The opening quarter saw a tie at 8-8, but the Patriots responded with a layup by Nikcoa Jackson (Louisville, Ky.) and a three-point play by Cora Moore (Louisville, Ky.) to give the Patriots a five point advantage. A pair of freebies cut the lead to three after the first quarter.
Cumberland responded with an 8-2 run to open the second frame to take a three point lead, 18-15. The Patriots battled back to tie the game at 22 apiece, but Cumberland added a late free throw to take a 23-22 lead into the locker room.
The Bulldogs continued to build upon their lead throughout the third quarter as they lead by as many as eight. After trailing by eight, Kayla Wilson (Corbin, Ky.) answered with a triple and Ruiz-Lopez sank a pair of freebies cutting the lead to three after three quarters at 37-34.
After Ruiz-Lopez hit a layup to open the final ten minutes, the Bulldogs responded with a 10-0 run to take an 11 point lead with 5:37 remaining. The Patriots wouldn’t go away as they answered with a 7-0 run cutting the lead four, 47-43. That was as close as the Patriots would get as Cumberland hit 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the 54-46 win.
St. Catharine will return to the hardwood on Saturday when they travel to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) with tip-off set for 3 p.m. ET.